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World Bank starts cash transfers in Senegal

[Senegal] Casamance: The mother, Mawdé Baldé, her daughter Binta and her granddaughter: a three-generation family of 47 lives in two rooms after fleeing its village, south of Ziguinchor, the regional capital of Casamance, and the rebels of the Movement
Vulnerable Senegalese families will be given cash handouts (file photo) (Pierre Holtz/IRIN)

In June the World Bank and government will start distributing cash to thousands of needy urban and rural Senegalese families with children aged five and under, to help protect them from still-high food prices.

The US$6.3 million will be used to offset ‘shocks’ to family incomes caused by high prices, by giving families cash installments, aiming to reduce the risk of children becoming malnourished. The money will be accompanied by micronutrient supplements and fortified foods, according to a World Bank communiqué.

The Senegalese government will target the most vulnerable families country-wide, based on poverty and nutrition assessments.

“We will distribute the money to mothers who have vulnerable children as this is the surest way the money will be spent in the best interests of the child,” Mademba Ndiaye, World Bank West Africa spokesperson, told IRIN.

The Bank runs targeted cash transfer programmes across Africa, as a way – the institution says – to help poor families avert crisis. This is the first it has run in Senegal.

Malnutrition rates in Senegal have dropped by 23 percent since 2000, according to the World Bank. Ndiaye said the Bank and the government want to ensure this trend continues despite high food prices and potential shocks from the global financial crisis.


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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