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WFP, UNCDF partner to digitalise cash-based transfers

November 8, 2016 By Mohamed Massaquoi

The World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) have signed an agreement aimed at scaling up WFP’s support to the local economy in Sierra Leone through innovative cash-based transfers.

The partnership would enable WFP to build a robust system for delivering cash transfers to the most vulnerable households, said a report from the WFP website.

WFP and UNCDF are collaborating to deliver greater accountability, efficiency and cost-savings for WFP’s food assistance in Sierra Leone.

Through the expansion of the use of digital cash transfers, the partnership will result in greater transparency and financial inclusion for the people WFP serves.

During the Ebola crisis, UNCDF provided vital support to facilitate cash transfers to the emergency response workers.

“Building on UNCDF’s technical expertise, digitising financial services and capitalising on Sierra Leone’s increasing mobile network coverage, this partnership will enable WFP to develop a more robust cash-based transfer system and ensure that the most food insecure and vulnerable households gain access to financial services that expand opportunities and reduce vulnerabilities,”  said Peter Scott-Bowden, WFP Representative in Sierra Leone.

“This partnership signed between WFP and UNCDF clearly demonstrates that by working together, UN agencies can deliver greater results for the people of Sierra Leone,” said the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone, Sunil Saigal, adding that WFP and the Government of Sierra Leone are both members of the Better Than Cash Alliance, a partnership of governments, companies, and international organisations that work together to accelerate the transition from cash to digital payments to reduce poverty and drive inclusive growth.

According to Tenzin Keyzom Ngodup, UNCDF West Africa, “Working with WFP, the world’s largest humanitarian agency, UNCDF, will support WFP to push cash into the formal financial system, thereby creating a business case for the private sector in Sierra Leone. Cash transfers will facilitate the expansion of the financial ecosystem and deliver services outside of the country’s urban centers to reach food insecure communities in rural areas.”

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