The FINANCIAL — The World Bank’s Board of Directors on September 1 approved a $10 million grant to help Chad develop and implement a national safety nets system aimed at providing direct assistance to 15,000 poor and vulnerable households in Chad’s rural and urban areas.
Households in the northern region of Logone Occidental, the Sahelian region of Bahr-El-Gazel, and the urban and periurban neighborhoods of N’Djamena will be targeted in particular. These safety nets will help reduce poverty through cash transfers and job creation in public works programs, according to the World Bank.
This project targets poor households with children under the age of 15 and pregnant women. Cash transfers, which will support household consumer expenditures over a two-year period, will be accompanied by measures to improve the hygiene practices of mothers and the nutrition of children. They also seek to prevent households from adopting negative coping strategies in response to a shock.
The Safety Nets Project, financed by the International Development Association (IDA)* and the Sahel Adaptive Social Protection Multi-Donor Trust Fund, will support programs targeting 6,200 poor households in the Sahelian belt and the South Sudan area. These households will receive a monthly sum of CFAF 15,000 (US$25) every two months. The project will also provide income-earning opportunities for close to 9,000 poor households in N’Djamena’s urban and periurban areas. The participants will be offered employment for a maximum period of 80 days and will be paid a daily wage of approximately CFAF 1,200 (US$2) for five hours of work per day. In most cases, the payments will be made to the mothers. This transfer is equivalent to roughly 50 percent of the food poverty gap and is expected to help households stabilize their consumption without discouraging them from working.
Paul Noumba Um, World Bank Country Director for Chad, stated that “the new safety nets program in Chad should help the country step up poverty reduction efforts by protecting a number of the most impoverished families from shocks and crises and allow them to continue investing in their children’s future,” adding that “safety nets are already helping improve the resilience and productivity of households across the entire continent, particularly in Niger and other countries.”
Consistent with Chad’s National Social Protection Strategy (SNPS), which was approved by the Government in July 2015, the project will help develop sustainable safety nets that support the most indigent families. Once this system is in place, the Government will have flexible and effective instruments available to respond to crises. A safety nets unit was established by the Ministry of Economy and Development Planning in collaboration with the Ministry responsible for Women and Family Affairs and National Solidarity, with a view to establishing a team of technical experts to implement the project. All necessary technical and financial resources have been placed at its disposal to enable it to successfully fulfill its mission and work independently.
“This project will help poor rural families in Chad deal with drought and its most serious consequences, such as income loss, severe food insecurity, and malnutrition,” said Giuseppe Zampaglione, World Bank Task Team Leader for the Safety Nets Project.