WFP launches digital e-wallet solution to help Kyrgyz government cope with impact of COVID-19 pandemic – Kyrgyzstan
BISHKEK – The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in the Kyrgyz Republic has launched a digital e-wallet solution as part of its National Cash Transfer (CBT) program that supports vulnerable households in urban and peri-urban areas. The initiative was made possible by generous funding from the Swiss government.
The pilot project is being rolled out in four towns in Kyrgyzstan: Tokmok, Kara-Balta, Osh and Jalal-Abad, with an expansion planned to cover 23 towns and villages. A total of USD 146,000 will be distributed to 1,460 vulnerable families (USD 100 per family) for their participation in various community development projects, such as the rehabilitation of local infrastructure or skills training to help improve their employment prospects. Priority will be given to households living below the national poverty line, households headed by a single woman, large families with minors and households with people with disabilities.
Digital solutions, such as the e-wallet, offer better security, better tracking and improved efficiency, transparency and accountability for humanitarian organizations. It offers choice and dignity, enabling vulnerable people to access a range of digital services and choose how to spend the aid they receive. In addition, the initiative will improve the financial literacy of those supported by WFP, as they will be trained in the use of new digital tools and payment methods.
“Thanks to the generous contribution of the Swiss government, WFP is able to use mobile money services to help families meet their basic needs. Compared to the traditional “cash-over-counter” method, the electronic wallet is an innovative tool that offers families not only wider and better services, but also the freedom to decide how they want to spend the money. they receive, ”explains Michael Huggins, WFP manager in the Kyrgyz Republic.
WFP’s program is designed to tackle the root causes of food insecurity and malnutrition by improving safety nets for the poorest during emergencies. In 2020, the Swiss government allocated US $ 2.5 million to WFP’s COVID-19 response project for families affected by socio-economic shocks, which have pushed more people into poverty and unemployment. Conditional cash assistance – equivalent to the cost of 150 kg of wheat flour and 15 liters of vegetable oil per participant.
The government of Switzerland provides assistance for the development of the Kyrgyz Republic. Since 1994, Switzerland has granted more than CHF 450 million to Kyrgyzstan in the form of technical, financial and humanitarian support. For more information, please visit https://www.eda.admin.ch/bishkek.
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** The United Nations World Food Program ** is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize winner. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food aid to lead the way to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
For more details on the activity of the Swiss Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic, please contact: Tursunai Chodurova, Embassy of Switzerland / Bishkek, Tel: +996 770 710054, email: [email protected]
For more information on WFP, please contact:
Almaz Tchoroev, PAM / Bishkek, mobile: +996 550 577 597, e-mail: [email protected]