The first cash transfers intended for 7,563 women from the Epargne pour le changer (EPC) groups in the regions of Koulikoro, Sikasso, Ségou and the District of Bamako (in Commune III) were made last Thursday. The ceremony was chaired by the National Director of Social Protection and Solidarity Economy (DNPSES), Mohamed Bassirou Traoré at the mayor of Commune III.
This operation is part of the joint UNICEF-Pam program: “Responding to the Covid-19 pandemic through social protection systems in the Sahel / Mali”. Funded to the tune of 17 million euros, or just over 10 billion CFA francs for a period of 18 months (July 2020 to December 2021) by German cooperation, this program constitutes an emergency response aimed at providing support to the Ministry of Health and Social Development in the fight against the pandemic.
This launch is the first series of an operation which will include three tranches for households and two for members of EPC groups for a cumulative total of 90,000 CFA francs per household and per woman in the EPC. “This amount is set to show the imperative to be aligned with the amount of the Government’s Emergency Cash Transfer,” said the acting deputy representative of Unicef in Mali, Macoura Oularé. The goal is, according to her, to meet the massive needs generated by the pandemic.
In this regard, the interventions of the two agencies aim to offer cash transfers to 69,000 households or about 415,000 individuals, explained the representative of Unicef in Mali.
38,715 households of which 7,563 from EPC groups will be reached in the regions of Koulikoro, Sikasso, Ségou and in Commune III of the District of Bamako, she said.
Intervening to situate the project in its context, the coordinator of the “Jigisemejiri” social safety net program thanked Unicef and Pam for the confidence placed in his Project. For Mohamed Ali Sacko, the implementation of “Covid-19 Response” will give hope to thousands of households affected by this pandemic in Mali. “Similarly to the government program, an appeal was made to the various partners to provide their responses to the response plan to fight this pandemic in our country.
In this context, Unicef and Pam have set up in three Sahelian countries an assistance program called: Response Covid-19, to face the immediate needs generated by the pandemic, explained the coordinator. To do this, he added, this project is supported by the government’s Emergency Cash Transfer Program.
The objective is to strengthen national social protection systems by stepping up essential support to cushion the social and economic impact of Covid-19 on poor and vulnerable populations, underlined the national director of social protection and the solidarity economy.
This mainly involves promoting household access to basic social services by supporting social protection systems that are more sensitive to nutrition, children and shocks, added Mohamed Bassirou Traoré. is justified by several vulnerability factors, including the municipal poverty index. “The targeting for beneficiaries of the EPC component was done taking into account the results of the study on the poverty index of municipalities and other specific vulnerability factors. The women members of the EPCs were then approached for the collection of personal data with a view to creating individualized SIM cards to strengthen the security of payments ”, developed the head of the DNPSES.
For her part, the mayor of Commune III, Ms. Djiré Mariame Diallo, thanked the partners for the initiative. Addressing the lucky beneficiaries, the councilor urged them to make good use of the funds made available to them.
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