African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".


  • African Press International Daily Online News Channel

  • * * API on Facebook

  • January 2012
    M T W T F S S
    « Dec   Feb »
     1
    2345678
    9101112131415
    16171819202122
    23242526272829
    3031  
  • Total Visitors

    • 5,359,144 HITS
  • Flag tracker

    web counter
  • RSS BBC News – Africa

    • Nigeria schoolgirls 'still missing' April 18, 2014
      Nigeria's military rows back on an earlier statement that most of the teenage girls abducted by suspected Islamist militants had been freed.
    • UN outrage at South Sudan attack April 19, 2014
      The UN expresses outrage at a deadly attack on one of its bases in South Sudan, saying it could "constitute a war crime".
    • Algeria's president gets fourth term April 18, 2014
      Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who suffered a stroke last year, wins a fourth term in office taking more than 81% of the vote.
    • ICC calls Kenya Ruto trial witnesses April 18, 2014
      The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague summons reluctant witnesses to testify at the trial of Kenya's Vice-President William Ruto.
    • I deserve more recognition - Toure April 18, 2014
      Manchester City's Yaya Toure thinks he is not regarded as one of the best players on the planet because he is from Africa.
    • French troops free Mali aid workers April 17, 2014
      French troops in Mali free five aid workers who were kidnapped in the north of the country by suspected Islamist militants in February.
    • Pistorius forensic tests challenged April 17, 2014
      The tests carried out by a forensic expert for Oscar Pistorius' murder trial are rigorously challenged by the state prosecutor in South Africa.
    • Senegal's Karim Wade 'to face trial' April 17, 2014
      A Senegalese court rules that Karim Wade, the ex-president's son, should stand trial on corruption charges over his wealth, an official says.
    • Guinea-Bissau run-off to pick leader April 17, 2014
      Officials in Guinea-Bissau say a run-off vote will be held next month after no candidate won an outright victory in Sunday's presidential election.
    • Remittance fees 'hurt Africans' April 16, 2014
      Communities in sub-Saharan Africa are being "hurt" by high fees charged by money transfer operators, charity Comic Relief says.
    • UN mulls medal for peacekeepers April 16, 2014
      The UN Security Council hears a proposal to create a medal for bravery in UN peacekeeping, to be named after a Senegalese soldier who saved lives during the Rwandan genocide.
    • Head of oldest African park shot April 16, 2014
      The Belgian director of Africa's oldest national park - Virunga in the Democratic Republic of Congo - is shot and wounded in an ambush.
    • VIDEO: Abducted schoolgirls 'still missing' April 18, 2014
      The Nigerian military has admitted that most of the 129 girls abducted by Boko Haram Islamists from their school in the north-eastern state of Borno are still missing.
    • VIDEO: Pistorius trial day 24 - in 60 secs April 17, 2014
      Forensic tests carried out by an expert for Oscar Pistorius' murder trial have been rigorously challenged by the state prosecutor in South Africa.
    • AUDIO: 'Killing books' in Libya April 15, 2014
      Libyan author Mansour Bushnaf says Libya does not have much of reading culture because under Col Muammar Gaddafi, people were afraid of books.
    • VIDEO: At site of Nigeria bus station blast April 14, 2014
      A powerful bomb blast has ripped through a crowded bus station on the outskirts of Nigeria's capital, Abuja, killing at least 71 people.
    • VIDEO: Cleaning up Cairo's waste system April 14, 2014
      The Egyptian government is turning to its traditional rubbish collectors - the Zabaleen - to revolutionise Cario's waste disposal industry.
    • VIDEO: Pistorius trial shown prosthetic leg April 17, 2014
      The prosthetic leg belonging to Oscar Pistorius has been shown to the court during his murder trial. He denies murder, claiming he mistook Reeva Steenkamp for a burglar.
    • VIDEO: Pistorius trial day 23 - in 60 secs April 16, 2014
      The girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius was shot in quick succession as she fell down, a forensics expert has told the South African athlete's murder trial.
    • VIDEO: Pistorius trial day 22 - in 60 secs April 15, 2014
      The Oscar Pistorius murder trial has seen a Valentine's card which his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp had intended to give him before he shot her dead.
  • RSS BBC News – Home

    • ‘Sorry’ ferry captain explains delay April 19, 2014
      The captain of a South Korean ferry that capsized and sank this week explains after his arrest why he delayed giving evacuation orders.
    • US raises Ukraine pressure on Russia April 19, 2014
      The US threatens tougher economic sanctions if Russia fails to abide by a new international deal to help de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine.
    • Pope leads Good Friday services April 18, 2014
      Pope Francis highlights the plight of the poor, elderly and abandoned during the Way of the Cross procession in Rome to mark Good Friday.
    • Republican shot dead in west Belfast April 18, 2014
      A prominent dissident republican, Tommy Crossan, has been shot dead in west Belfast.
    • Hunt to warn of schools extremism April 18, 2014
      Labour's Tristram Hunt is to issue a tough warning against religious extremism in schools.
    • 'Rogue directors' crackdown planned April 18, 2014
      People convicted of commercial crimes overseas could be banned from running UK firms in an attempt to tackle "rogue directors", Business Secretary Vince Cable says.
    • Obama signs UN envoy visa ban law April 18, 2014
      President Barack Obama signs into law a measure that would bar entry to any UN ambassador whom the US says has engaged in "terrorist activity".
    • UN outrage at South Sudan attack April 19, 2014
      The UN expresses outrage at a deadly attack on one of its bases in South Sudan, saying it could "constitute a war crime".
    • Welby talks of gay marriage struggle April 19, 2014
      The Archbishop of Canterbury speaks of the Church of England's struggle to do "what is right" over the divisive issue of same-sex marriage.
    • Teachers demand qualified status April 19, 2014
      Teachers' union conferences are demanding that schools in England should only employ qualified teachers.
    • Minister's health and safety warning April 19, 2014
      Work and pensions minister Mike Penning writes to schools and local authorities in England to highlight health and safety "excuses".
    • Court order halts Brazil match April 19, 2014
      A Brazilian second division football game is abandoned after 16 minutes, with one team saying they now have a court order to play in the top division.
    • Pensions and privacy - front pages April 19, 2014
      The Daily Express says people are releasing equity from homes to "top up" their pensions, while other papers are concerned about state intrusion into privacy.
    • VIDEO: World's prettiest Easter eggs? April 18, 2014
      A Slavic community museum in Germany is keeping alive the traditional craft of Easter egg painting.
    • Prince re-signs with 'slave' label April 18, 2014
      Pop star Prince signs a major deal with Warner Bros Records, the label he famously fell out with nearly 20 years ago.
    • I deserve more recognition - Toure April 18, 2014
      Manchester City's Yaya Toure thinks he is not regarded as one of the best players on the planet because he is from Africa.
    • O'Sullivan 'not in Hendry's league yet' April 18, 2014
      Ronnie O'Sullivan believes he would need to win two more world titles to be considered snooker's greatest player.
    • Moores to be new England coach April 18, 2014
      Peter Moores is to be named England coach for a second time, BBC Sport understands.
    • Moyes who? Martinez magic has charmed Everton April 18, 2014
      Man Utd boss David Moyes will not get a warm welcome back at Everton, whose fans have fallen under Roberto Martinez's spell, writes Phil McNulty
    • Simmonds qualifies for IPC Euros April 18, 2014
      Ellie Simmonds, Stephanie Slater and Amy Marren qualify for the European Championships at the British Para-Swimming meet.
  • RSS Reuters: Politics

  • RSS CNN.com – Africa

    • Luxury shoes made in Ghana April 15, 2014
      Fred Deegbe was standing outside a shop window five years ago, marveling at the shiny pair of wing-tip Oxfords he'd just bought, when he started wondering whether such beautiful designer shoes could ever be produced in his country, Ghana.
    • Meet Nigeria's 'Mark Zuckerberg' April 3, 2014
      At 23, many people around the world are still at university -- at that age, Gossy Ukanwoke had already started one.
    • Why we need more geek girls April 3, 2014
      "It was like taking a big leap of faith."
    • 'Uncle Ebo' revives Ghanaian theater April 15, 2014
      African Voices meets James Ebo Whyte a passionate storyteller with a series of successful plays to his credit.
    • How medics saved lives at Westgate April 9, 2014
      When gunmen stormed into Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, Abbas Gullet was one of the first emergency responders on the scene. As head of Kenya's Red Cross, he was in charge of coordinating services for people in need.
    • Embracing Ghana's natural beauty April 1, 2014
      She started her business with just £100, lugging her beauty bag from door to door, but some 25 years later Grace Amey-Obeng has built a multi-million dollar cosmetics empire that's helping change the perception of beauty for many.
    • Africa's most endangered April 16, 2014
      Africa is home to much unique wildlife, but many of its iconic species are threatened. Find out more about its most endangered animals.
    • Secrets of 'gorilla whisperer' March 25, 2014
      Zain Verjee visits Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park -- the home of half of the world's endangered mountain gorilla population.
    • Savannah from the sky March 13, 2014
      It's almost impossible for a photographer to find fresh visual perspectives these days. Brooklyn-based Zack Seckler had to travel to a different continent and strap into an ultra-light aircraft to find one. His Botswana series presents the country from between 50 and 500 feet, providing a unique and captivating view of the savannah.
    • Why you should fear Boko Haram April 17, 2014
      Boko Haram's lethality is indisputable.
    • You gotta try South African BBQ April 17, 2014
      Grilled zebra anyone? Peri-peri warthog? This is how to barbecue, South Africa style.
    • Inside an Ebola isolation ward April 16, 2014
      Dr. Sanjay Gupta goes into an ebola clinic to find out what life is like for the patients inside.
    • Rating Pistorius's defense April 16, 2014
      After five days of intense cross-examination, has Olympian Oscar Pistorius helped or harmed his defense that he did not intentionally kill his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkam?
    • Pop art condoms saving lives April 15, 2014
      The Center for African Family Studies in Nairobi has teamed up with Kenyan artist Michael Soi to create eye-catching condom wrappers to promote safe sex and raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among young people.
    • Ebola: A swift and bloody killer April 16, 2014
      It took only moments to feel the impact of what was happening here.
    • 'I lost my fingers, made new ones' April 14, 2014
      A South African carpenter lost his fingers in an accident -- now he's making mechanical fingers and hands for others.
    • Kenya double in London Marathon April 13, 2014
      World record-holder Wilson Kipsang completed a Kenyan double at the London Marathon Sunday as home hope Mo Farah disappointed on his debut over the 42km distance.
    • Pistorius at mercy of 'bull dog?' April 11, 2014
      He's known as the "bull dog" in South Africa's legal circles, and just two days in to Gerrie Nel's merciless cross-examination of Oscar Pistorius, it's easy to see why.
    • 'Now is the time for Afro-realism' April 11, 2014
      Over the last 20 years, the narrative on the African continent has shifted from Afro-pessimism to Afro-optimism. The truth lies somewhere in between. Now is the time for Afro-realism: for sound policies based on honest data, aimed at delivering results.
    • Africa's tastiest street food April 11, 2014
      Here are your photos of the tastiest -- and most unusual -- African street food.
  • Country Stats

    free counters

Smart cards…cash transfers are deemed more efficient and flexible than in-kind aid…

Posted by African Press International on January 16, 2012

AID POLICY: Cash catches up*

Smart cards…cash transfers are deemed more efficient and flexible than in-kind aid…

NAIROBI, 6 December 2011 (IRIN) – Cash and voucher transfers are being scaled up and increasingly integrated into humanitarian relief efforts across the Horn of Africa, particularly in areas of insecurity, where access issues have led to a rethink of traditional ways of delivering aid.

“We have to criticize our programming decisions and formulate better ways to get assistance to the people in need,” said consultant Nick Maunder at a recent workshop he facilitated in Nairobi, where the private sector, NGOs, UN agencies and donors met to debate, share experiences and develop ways to improve and increase the use of cash transfer programming during emergencies.

Across the Horn, more than four million people are now receiving assistance via cash or vouchers, according to the Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP), which organized the workshop.

“Cash for assets has also started going to scale in Kenya, targeting just under half a million beneficiaries at KSh3,000 [$33] per household per month,” said Sheryl Harrison of WFP.

Most humanitarian assistance in the Horn of Africa has so far been provided in-kind, through the distribution of food, shelter, tools and seeds. In many areas, relief efforts have been beset by delays, high delivery costs, and in some areas, high taxation. There is a growing body of experience in the region that is using cash or vouchers as a critical complement, or at times an alternative to in-kind assistance.

“Cash is less visible, more dignified, uses fewer intermediaries, is in transit for less time and a more flexible resource to meet needs beyond food,” said Degan Ali, Executive Director of Horn Relief, an NGO.

When food is available in local markets, or can be supplied quickly through market mechanisms, cash and voucher transfers are perceived to be the most efficient and cost-effective way of delivering humanitarian aid. Once the implementing agency has conducted an in-depth market assessment of the area, and the context is deemed suitable, money can transferred directly to beneficiaries, with or without conditions.

“The reason why there is so much momentum around cash is because the humanitarian world is starting to recognize that more and more people are living in a market economy, taking that into account and beginning to work in it rather than in isolation from it,” explained Breanna Ridsdel, communications and advocacy officer at CaLP.

Concerns have been raised about whether injecting cash can disrupt local economies and cause inflation but implementing agencies believe the amount of money being transferred to households is too small to have a detrimental impact on markets; according to a recent report by CaLP, the fear of inflation is disproportionately applied to cash rather than in-kind programmes, which can also have a massive influence on markets.

Breanna Ridsdel of CaLP explains “Its all context specific, if you are looking at going into a very remote area and setting up a financial system, then that may not be the most appropriate intervention but if you are looking at a financially insecure community, living in urban area, in a developed financial system, then cash is likely to be more appropriate then food distribution which is working against the market… It’s all about good programming”.

Going private

The challenging environment in which relief agencies are operating in the Horn of Africa, characterized by insecurity and corruption, has led the aid community to create partnerships with the private sector and adopt new technologies to deliver cash safely to hard-to-reach areas.

Representatives from Visa, Equity Bank and Safaricom, a mobile phone operator, attended the workshop to lobby implementing agencies to use their products, saying it would be more efficient.


Photo: Jaspreet Kindra/IRIN
…and help preserve the dignity of those caught up in emergencies

“Exciting new partnerships are being forged between the private sector and humanitarian community to improve the delivery of cash,” said Ginger Baker of Emerging Market Solutions at Visa.

Money is being transferred electronically through mobile-phone service providers, such as MPesa in Kenya, and through traditional remittance networks in other countries.

“In Kenya, 21 percent of the population has bank accounts and 87 percent have mobile phones… MPesa can be used as a poverty eradication tool,” according to Safaricom.

With increasing scrutiny from the media, public, and donor governments over the cost-effectiveness of aid and at times, inefficiency of traditional distribution mechanisms, emerging partnerships between the banking and humanitarian sector are being welcomed. “Partnerships with the private sector will encourage more efficient and effective ways of delivering humanitarian assistance,” said head of International Federation of the Red Cross Regional Office, Alexander Matheou.

“The profit motive is not a bad thing. Safaricom and Visa may take a nominal fee for sending cash to impoverished households but at least it will be done quickly in a cost effective manner” said an independent aid consultant at the event.

Over the past few years, the private sector has played an important role in facilitating cash transfer programming yet the engagement of humanitarian actors still appears to be limited.

Some worry that the pursuit of profit sits uncomfortably with humanitarianism.

“The private sector are concerned with the rich, we are concerned with the poor… We need to be careful, but also respectful of each other’s motivations, and meet somewhere in between, ” said the chair of the CaLP steering committee, Austin Davis.

Another challenge is introducing electronic payments in low-income countries which need existing financial institutions and wide mobile-phone network coverage. Safaricom admitted that large parts of the Horn of Africa were still not covered and a proportion of vulnerable populations did not have access to mobile phones. However, according to a recent report on the impacts of mobile cash transfer programmes, the widespread growth of mobile-phone coverage, cheaper handsets and mobile-money services in developing countries suggests these constraints could be easily overcome.

Reservations and recent progress

“The momentum is building but any change happens slowly, any adoption of new techniques meets resistance at first, it has to go through the process of building evidence, proving itself, making mistakes, correcting itself and building systems; this is the biggest obstacle to adoption at scale,” explained Ridsdel.

According to the Oversees Development Institute’s (ODI) Good Practice Review for Cash Transfers in Emergencies, “Experience in very uncongenial environments such as Afghanistan, Somalia and the DRC shows that cash or vouchers are a possible response even where states have collapsed, conflict is ongoing and banking systems are weak or non-existent.”

One of the main challenges is a negative institutional mindset that can be overcome with an increase in such programming, according to advocates.

Sarah Bailey of the ODI said: “Transferring cash directly takes the power away from the humanitarian community and puts it into the hands of the beneficiaries, a notion that people still remain uncomfortable with.”

Experience of cash-based programming is largely based on recovery operations, with less experience at the very early stages of a relief or emergency response phase.

“We should have begun transferring cash much earlier in Somalia where the markets are very important and continue to function despite collapsing livelihoods and weak purchasing power,” said Grainne Moloney, nutrition technical manager at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU).

In January, FSNAU began assessing 44 markets across Somalia, monitoring the prices of about 40 commodities every week. “In some markets, it became clear that cash transfers at scale were a valid option early on. Unfortunately, there was a lot of hesitation and concerns over inflation, insecurity and cash diversion. Donors were hesitating as the crisis deepened.”

Britain’s Department for International Development “is successfully using transfers to reach particularly impoverished populations in challenging places in Ethiopia and Kenya. Transfers reach their recipients more quickly and transparently than more widely prevalent ways of delivering aid,” according to the UK’s National Audit Office.

*This is a revised version of a story first published on 5 December.

tl/am/mw
source www.irinnews.org

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,227 other followers

%d bloggers like this: