Uganda Red Cross Introduces Cash Transfer programming in Disaster Response, Pilot launched in Mbale, Namabasa Village, Eastern Uganda. With support from the German Red Cross, Uganda Red Cross on January 21st 2020 gave out 88 million shillings in Cash to over 245 families that were affected by floods in December 2019. The money was transferred to the beneficiaries using MTN Mobile and Airtel Money transfer services.
While presiding over the Cash transfer (CTP) launch, the Uganda Red Cross Secretary General Mr. Robert Kwesiga appreciated the German Red Cross and other partners who supported Uganda Red Cross during the wake of disasters that hit Uganda throughout 2019. He also appreciated the Germans for having enabled the Cash transfer because it allows people affected to make a choice of the basic requirements they need to go through the disasters or cope.
“We are thankful to all the partners who supported us especially when our relief stock budget was over stretched; German Red Cross being one of them. Today as we launch this pilot project of cash transfer, we want to ensure that every one affected receives their money and uses it for the intended purpose. The money is sent using mobile phone money transfer services. The Programme is meant to compliment the usual nonfood relief items that we provide during disaster response. We want people to make choices of what they want to access during or after a disaster.” Said Kwesiga.
“It also builds and maintains the dignity of people when they have purchasing power to meet an immediate need as opposed to making choices for them when we show up with pre-positioned emergency response kits which sometimes are not their immediate needs.” Kwesiga added.
In December 2019, areas around Mt. Elgon in Eastern Uganda suffered adverse flooding effects and landslides which caused destruction of public infrastructures, human settlements, lives lost as well as farmlands, causing huge losses to famers in terms of crop destruction and livestock deaths.
Close to 1218 households in the districts of Mbale and Butallejja were left homeless and majority were displaced. Food items such as Potatoes, cassava, beans, rice soya beans bananas, yams and maize were also destroyed hence exposing families to hunger.
In response, Uganda Red Cross provided relief nonfood items to the affected families, and other life line services. The Cash program has been introduced as a compliment to the already exiting response mechanisms. As thus, a rapid Assessment was conducted within affected areas to ensure cash feasibility, access to Markets (RAM) among other determining factors.
The findings indicated that the Cash Transfer Process (CTP) Initiative was more feasible in Mbale - Namabasa Sub-county because of the market functionality and availability of financial service providers.
“This is why we are giving out the money to the people in the area where we are today. One might think and ask why Namabasa? The feasibility study positioned us to pilot the project here; but also, Namabasa has the highest number of people who were affected in Mbale district. Those without mobile phones will receive Cash in Envelopes. All families who are receiving money today were involved in the initial process and they are excited to receive money.” Said Joram Musinguzi, Program officer for the Cash Transfer Project.
A total of 1458 individuals in 245 received cash assistance; 04 households with 21 individuals received cash in envelops and these were the people with special cases, whose numbers were not registered but highly qualify for immediate help.
The cash transfer targeted to help families be able to meet immediate needs such as food, health, education among other critical services to enable them recover from the adverse climate change affected.