Liberia Cash

Women, Social Responsibility Movies

Liberia Cash

Cash directly given to poorer families in Liberia by UNICEF to help feed and perhaps start them on production/business toward self0sufficiency - Every month, Sara Dennis and her children arrive at this distribution center in Liberia’s Bomi County to receive money from government officials through a cash transfer program.

Roughly 25 US dollars for 30 days.

At first glance, this may seem like just a handful of cash, but this money is Sara’s only lifeline.

Living in one of the most impoverished districts in Liberia, she was struggling to make ends meet.

But last year, UNICEF and its partners brought a wave of change with a cash transfer scheme.

Like hundreds of others in the region, Sara is being provided with funds that help send her children to school and feed the family.

SOUNDBITE (English) Emily Garin, UNICEF Social Protection and Advocacy Specialist, Liberia:
“The cash transfer program is designed to support the most vulnerable families in the country. So it’s targeted at households that don’t have anyone available for work and are ultra-poor in the most food unsecured parts of the country.”

With Liberia still reeling under the aftermath of a brutal civil war, opportunities to escape the unending cycle of poverty are few and far between.

But the modest payments handed out directly to those in need are proving to be new tools of empowerment.

Sara has been using the transfers to generate an income. She saves part of the money to buy chickens and then sells the eggs in her community.

SOUNDBITE (English), Sara Dennis, 41 years old:
“There was no way. We had nothing. My children were not going to school, but the program came about and now they are in school. I buy clothes for them, they eat. We survive on it. There is a big difference. Now I can afford to buy a cup of rice for my children. I can afford to buy half bag of rice for them. In the past, I couldn’t afford to buy foot wear for them.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Emily Garin, UNICEF Social Protection and Advocacy Specialist, Liberia:
“Over the next 2 years, the plan is to extend the program to 5000 families in the most food unsecure parts of the country, both here and Bomi County, and the South-east of the country where more than three out of four households doesn’t have enough food to make through any given month.”

With the aim turning around stories of unfulfilled hope and potential, the project is banking on a simple idea - the most effective way of helping people is by giving them the power to make their own decisions.


Language: English

Year of Production: 2012

Length: 2 mins

Country: Liberia


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