Safety Net Project: Satisfactory Progress Recorded

Remarkable progress has been made in an ongoing Social Safety Net Project for alleviation of poverty in Cameroon’s poorest communities, officials have said. The Vice Chair of the Steering Committee for the World Bank-funded initiative, Rosaline Mboutu, stated in Yaounde on September 19 that facts on the ground show an improvement in the living standards of the formerly chronically poor households.

Mboutu who doubles as Secretary General of the Ministry of Social Affairs made the statement in an interview she granted the press on the sidelines of the 6th Ordinary Session of the said committee.  

She said the project launched in Cameroon in 2014 has had a big social impact; especially the cash transfer programme that started off targeting 65,000 extremely poor and vulnerable households in the Adamaoua, East, North, Northwest, and Far North Regions and 5,000 urban households in Douala and Yaounde.

She also affirmed that so much has equally been done in the public works component of the project that consisted developing and piloting a labour-intensive public works program to help beneficiaries cope with external shocks like droughts or floods. “The Ministry of Social Affairs holds the Vice Chairmanship position in the steering committee and it is our business to ensure the selected vulnerable persons benefit from the project. We are particularly keen on aspects that concern children, and health,” said Rosaline Mboutu.

Highlights of Wednesday’s ordinary session were the general evaluation of the road covered so far in the implementation of the whole project and examination of the 2018 mid-term report.

The Chairman of the committee urged participants to carefully examine the presentations and come up with suggestions that would improve the implementation of the project in host communities. He reminded committee members that the government has the responsibility to repay 30 per cent of the US $144 million funding from the World Bank, noting that only 70 per cent of it was offered as a grant while the other half was a loan.

It should be recalled that the World Bank helped government to develop the programme in order to reduce the rate of poverty in the country, which according to the Bretton Woods institution, had stood at a steady 39 per cent from 2001 through 2013.

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