By Foday Moriba Conteh
The National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) on the 25th May 2020 made public the commencement of the Covid-19 Emergency Cash Transfers to households with vulnerable informal sector workers including those working in micro and small enterprises and low paid workers in the service sector.
The NaCSA media team stated that it has observed with dismay that certain unscrupulous persons are collecting monies from innocent citizens with a promise to enrol them as beneficiaries.
The institution wants it known that the Commission is working with relevant institutions like the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Statistics Sierra Leone, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Freetown City Council and other Councils to ensure that the right beneficiaries are targeted.
The team highlighted that it should be noted that once a beneficiaries have started receiving the cash, nobody is supposed to take it from them. It furthered that prospective beneficiaries should not offer or pay anything to anybody in order to be enrolled going on to state that any attempted extortion or corrupt practices must be reported to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) by calling the toll-free number 515 or directly to ACC Community Monitors or other ACC officials.
The Commission pointed out that the objective of the emergency cash transfers (ECTs) is geared towards protecting the wellbeing of households that are expected to be especially vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19.
It added that the ECT will provide targeted households with financial support to help them cope with the immediate negative impact on their wellbeing, smoothing consumption and supplementing lost or reduced income.
It was understood that the transfer amount will be a one-off payment of SLL 1,309,000. What was again made known was that in addition to the list provided by participating organizations, NaCSA and its partners have developed a three stage targeting criteria for people to be beneficiaries of the emergency cash transfer. As explained, the Pre-list is not a determiner to be a beneficiary; the Commission has developed an ODK tool to records responses which will determine a beneficiary’s status.
Related to this medium was that a light proxy-means test would be applied to identify the most vulnerable workers from the list provided by different organizations.
As was understood, the exercise starts with validating the lists provided by City Councils, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Traders Associations, Employers Federation, Microfinance Institutions and other organized market groups.