Save the Children Fiji has successfully reached its target of assisting 39,000 vulnerable households through its Fiji Cash Assistance project.
More than $23million FJD was directly transferred to these families using M-Paisa and mycash wallet. This is a milestone achievement for Save the Children.
The project provided cash transfers to vulnerable families who had lost income due to Covid-19, prioritizing single-parent households and those with young children, elderly or unwell people, persons with disability, and survivors of gender-based violence.
Save the Children worked through a rigorous process with the Fijian government and civil society partners to identify households eligible for cash transfers.
The cash transfers gave households across Fiji the flexibility to buy what they need most to meet their basic needs.
Recipient Lusiana, a mother of four children, said the cash transfers gave them hope at a time when they had no income.
“The challenges that I am facing right now are mainly financial because my husband has been laid off from work,” said Lusiana, explaining they had to silently struggle to provide for their children.
In November, last year while Lusiana’s husband was out looking for work, field officers from the local electricity company came to visit their family home. They told her they needed to disconnect the family’s power, as their bills had not been paid on time.
Luckily, that very day the first transfer from Save the Children arrived. Lusiana immediately paid off the power, stopping it from being disconnected. Remembering how the transfer came just in time, Lusiana said, “when I received it, I went to pay our bill. It was $42 and I also bought some food.”
Another recipient, Maria – a single mother of six said she was able to buy food and school supplies for her children with the cash transfers.
“I was happy, and I told my kids this is the answer, this is the answer for us,” Maria says, remembering how she felt when the transfer arrived. “I buy the food and my kids’ school things – the bag, the shoes, and all the school stuff,” she explained.
Maria says the cash transfers have also helped her support the children’s grandparents to go to the hospital to manage their health conditions.
Launched in 2020 in partnership with Save the Children Australia, the Fiji Cash Assistance project assisted a total of 16,772 households in phase 1 of the program.
With the continued support and generosity of an anonymous philanthropic donor, Save the Children extended the program for another six months to assist an additional 22,228 households.
In phase 2, households received three monthly payments of $200. Cash transfers were made in November and December last year with the final payment in January 2022.
Having reached its target of 39,000 households the cash transfer component of the project had now concluded.
“Providing cash assistance to 39000 households is a milestone achievement for Save the Children and our implementing partners. We know that families were finding it very difficult to purchase food, pay bills and cater for their children’s educational needs during the various Covid-19 waves experienced in Fiji. Therefore, the Cash payments to 39000 households means that 195,000 individuals and 120,000 children’s lives improved and they were able to meet their basic needs under extremely challenging circumstances,” said Save the Children Fiji CEO, Shairana Ali.
“We have seen the positive impact of cash-based interventions during humanitarian response and as such, Save the Children will continue advocating for and championing such programs to ensure timely and immediate protection measures for children affected by humanitarian crisis.”
Project staff are conducting a post-distribution monitoring exercise to understand how the cash support has helped families during this challenging time.
Please visit our website www.savethechildren.org.fj click on events and media and latest news to obtain the latest news to obtain more information on the program.
Disclaimer: The project is now closed and we are not accepting any applications for this program.
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Fiji: Kelly.Vacala@savethechildren.org or firstname.lastname@example.org