Save the Children Fiji Launches Digital Cash Project helping Fijian Families Impacted by COVID-19

 

Thursday 7th January, 2021

Save the Children Fiji is leading one of the largest humanitarian digital cash transfer program in Fiji’s history. 

Thursday, 7 January 2020: Save the Children Fiji has launched a digital cash program to help Fijian families most-affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19.

The child rights organisation is partnering with the Fiji Council of Social Services and Vodafone Fiji to reach more than 19000 households with digital cash transfers. The funds are transferred through Vodafone Fiji’s mobile money M-PAiSA platform. Money received by vulnerable households can be used to meet basic needs especially children’s immediate needs during this difficult time.

Save the Children Fiji’s Chief Executive Officer, Shairana Ali said that working with the Fiji Council of Social Services and Vodafone Fiji will allow for fast and efficient support to vulnerable families affected by the pandemic. The support will be especially crucial now as families prepare to send children back to school.

“Save the Children’s partnership with digital mobile money company like Vodafone means that we can quickly reach the most vulnerable families across Fiji impacted by COVID-19. Save the Children’s expertise in cash transfer and Vodafone’s huge reach across Fiji means families will soon feel the relief they desperately need during these trying times.”

To identify the households in the greatest need of assistance, Save the Children has worked closely with local NGOs and coordinated with the Fiji Cash Working Group to develop an assessment criterion that targets vulnerable groups such as the elderly, women, children, and people living with disabilities. The households, which have already been selected, will receive four electronic payments via their mobile phone over four months.

“One of the benefits of this type of assistance is that while we have identified people in the greatest need, they will then be supporting their own communities as they purchase goods from local markets.” Ms. Ali said.

“As far as we are aware, this will be one of the largest cash assistance program ever rolled out in Fiji, and it couldn’t have come at a more urgent time. Save the Children uses cash and voucher assistance to support households impacted by disasters all over the world. We know that it works, and we know it will make a huge difference for the lives of vulnerable families in Fiji.” Ms Ali said.

Vodafone Fiji’s Head of eCommerce and Corporate Affairs, Mr Shailendra Prasad said,” We are very pleased to support this humanitarian cash assistance initiative of Save the Children Fiji.  Having previously supported similar cash assistance program such as Help for Home after TC Winston, M-PAiSA has proven to be a robust, efficient, transparent and highly accountable means of providing cash assistance.”

“We urge beneficiaries to use the cashless payment options such as M-PAiSA QR that is now available at most supermarket chains and business outlets Fiji wide. During the pandemic it is a safer payment option with less human to human contact.” said Mr Prasad

The first cash transfer to households commenced before Christmas with the final payment due at the end of March.

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