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Restoring livelihoods through work for cash transfers

 

The ongoing crisis in South Sudan is aggravating an already fragile socio‐economic context. Many households are food insecure and suffer malnutrition is both in rural and urban centers, including in the capital city of Juba. Households in Juba are affected by diminished livelihood opportunities and high cost of food. Humanitarian agencies together with the Government are responding to provide various services to the affected households in Juba city.

 

Action Africa Help International (AAH-I) has been implementing Juba Public Works, a project of the Government of South Sudan, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security. It is funded by the World Bank. The project objective is to provide access to income opportunities and temporary employment to the poor and vulnerable, and put in place building blocks for a social protection system. This is in line with AAH-I’s strategic objective of developing, promoting and implementing innovative entrepreneurial and sustainable livelihood programmes.

 

The project was started in January 2016 and supported 3,487 poor vulnerable households until its suspension towards the end of November due to insecurity at the time. However the project resumed this year in June 2017, and now provides support to 6,000 poor vulnerable households. Females account for 68% of the beneficiaries. 

 

AAH South Sudan Juba public works

A road being rehabilitated by project beneficiaries

   

The project operates in 15 quarter councils in Juba city council targeting poor vulnerable households, who are selected on the basis of a vulnerable eligibility criteria. Only beneficiaries who satisfy the criteria are selected. They are then grouped, sensitized on the working norms and trained on activity implementation such as road rehabilitation and drainage maintenance. 

 

The households repair feeder roads or maintain drainage channels and work for 4 hours in the morning for 15 days in a month. Each individual earns USD $45 per month. Mothers with children are given special preference. The children are taken care of by elderly people (who cannot work) in a temporary shed constructed by the project at each work site as the mothers work. Pregnant women are also allowed to participate, but for not more than 3 hours a day. 

 

Project beneficiaries are grateful that they can be self-reliant in meeting their basic needs – food, medical care and school fees for their children. Some have even set up vegetable, baking and phone charging businesses. The additional benefit is that water supply trucks can now easily reach their homes using the repaired roads.

 

In 2016, a total of 3,487 (1,088 male and 2,399 female) beneficiaries were involved in various public works activities. The project rehabilitated 21.56 Km of urban feeder roads in Juba city, enhancing access to social services and commercial centres. The project also planted more than 2, 000 tree seedlings within Juba. Cumulative total wages amounting to 11,381,198 South Sudanese pounds was paid to the 3,487 beneficiaries. 

 

Some reactions from beneficiaries about the project.

 

AAH SS Juba public works - Hai Mauna.

"...I am so happy for the initiative brought by public works project. I didn’t think I would be earning money like this. I can now support myself and my family... I hope the project continues for a long time..."  - Cicilia Tukwaje from Hai Mauna 

 

AAH SS Juba public works

"...It has been very challenging having no one to support me since 2013. I am happy to see public works projects supporting the elderly people like me...I did not believe that at my age, I would be getting money to support my family and myself..." - Roma Anna from Hai Zendia

Inspiring story ahead of the World Refugee day.