The National Commission for Social Action (NACSA) in collaboration with its funding partner the World Bank, over the weekend officially launched two projects in response to food price increases and enhancing labor market opportunities at the British Council Auditorium in Freetown.
The Cash for Work (CFW) program is an additional component of the World Bank- funded project, as an emergency safety-net response aimed at easing the burden of the drastic food price increases on the most vulnerable people and providing house holds with incremental income support.
The project would address the lack of finance for youths to run small and medium enterprise which has been a major constraint to them. The major priority of the project is to empower farmers and agro business, financial literacy and business development.
The launching of the two projects attracted Governmental Officials, Non-Governmental Organizations, development partners, Councilors, Members of Parliament and Civil Society Groups operating in the Country.
Speaking at the formal launching of the project, the Community Development Officer at NACSA, John Paul Ngebeh properly explained the aims and objectives of the project and further spoke about the target beneficiaries who are mainly youths in the rural and urban areas, with operation in seven Districts.
He added that the development objective of the Cash for Work project is to assist vulnerable households to access temporary opportunities with priority given to food unsecured areas and the most vulnerable population with a simplified sub-project identification and consultation process.
Ngebeh maintained that target beneficiaries would be selected through geographic selection, based on poverty and food security with a wage rate below the average informal day labor for casual workers; as funds from the project would provide 60% for labor to maximize benefits to participants and that 30% of the project would be spent on female employment.
He also disclosed that the project would support business development skills of current youth entrepreneurs and provide technical expertise in business development and provide small grants to accelerate the development of existing groups to increase their access to finance. NACSA Commissioner, Conton Sesay said that good economic and social policies are required to access opportunities for useful engagement in order to make their contribution impact national development and actualization to improve young people and help them gain recognition.
The Commissioner added that the state’s response to food crisis was swift in ensuring availability of food in the market with support from development partners like the World Bank, in making improvements in existing infrastructure and also contributing to national development.
He also intimated that the sustainable youth empowerment project is essentially geared towards supporting entrepreneurial skills by strengthening and opening their way to opportunities for expanding their endeavor’s with commitment and hard work; expressing the hope that youths would capitalize the project and make good use of the available opportunities to enable them contribute to sustainable development.
By Saidu Bah