The largest humanitarian accident transfer in Fiji’s history has been described as a great success, with $ 20 million injection in the poorest 20% of the country enables entire communities to preserve their dignity through the devastating consequences of COVID-19.
Of the families who received funding through the program, 95% spent the money on food, bills and their children’s education.
Save the Children Australia Acting CEO Mat Tinkler – whose organization orchestrated the “life-saving” digital cash program – elaborated that 27% of respondents spent money on water, 16% on medical expenses and a smaller portion on cleaning products.
“Cash is the most effective way to help people in disasters so they can make the best decisions for their own circumstances.” It says Tinkler in a media release. “We know that children are hardest hit in any humanitarian crisis, and Fiji continues to struggle with the effects of COVID-19 today. This funding enabled parents to continue to care for their children despite difficulties.”
Between December 2020 and June 2021, AU $ 4.2 million was distributed among 16,000 families.
An additional $ 15.3 million was transferred during the second phase of the project, for the benefit of a total of 39,000 households.
The use of digital cash is a new development for Save the Children, which has long used money and vouchers to support those affected by a variety of disasters around the world. The organization worked closely with Vodafone Fiji to make the payments possible.
Cash. Rules. Everything. Around. Me. It is also the best-proven measure against poverty that we have. This digital cash rollout is not just the largest humanitarian money transfer in Fiji’s history (!), It’s an investment in ongoing, shock-sensitive safety nets and climate resilience. https://t.co/5ZY5Bch4WJ
– Erin Ryan (@erinryanau) January 13, 2021
Maria, a 49-year-old single mother of six children, was just one of the people supported through the program – as through assistance from local organizations such as. Fiji’s Council for Social Services The work to identify and prioritize vulnerable groups such as the elderly, women, children and people living with a disability.
Maria lost her job in the caretaker industry when pandemic-induced lockdowns were announced.
“Before I get the money, I never go to work, and my kids used to ask me – ‘my school things, my school things?’ And I used to say to them, pray to God, “she said, before explaining how the means affected her and her children’s lives. “I was happy and I tell my children – this is the answer, this is the answer for us. I buy the food and my two children’s school things – the bag, the shoes and all the school things.”
Pr. On February 24, nearly 65,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported in Fiji.
With a population of less than 1 million, the Pacific Nation has recorded 826 deaths and has one fully vaccinated rate of 69%.
According to nonprofit public policy organization Brookings Institutionreceived 17% of the world population at least one COVID-related cash payment between 2020 and 2021 in an attempt by governments everywhere to avert total economic collapse and avert catastrophic poverty levels.
It is estimated that 124 million people globally have been pushed into extreme poverty by the pandemic.