December 18, 2012
Malawi - Poor Farmers Get Cash Through Mobile Phones
With food prices high in Malawi's markets, many families are struggling to find enough to eat. A new program by WFP is sending cash to the most vulnerable people through their mobile phones. AllAfrica reports.
Working with the Malawi government, local partner Save the Children, and the mobile phone provider, Airtel, WFP has launched a program that aims to address this problem of access to food. Hungry farmers are being introduced to a mobile phone banking system that will deliver the cash they need to spend on food at the market.
... In many places where we have a surplus of food, the problem is not that there's no food in the locality, but that poor people cannot afford it," says WFP Senior Program Officer, Charles Inwani. "In a situation like this in Malawi, where the country has been producing a surplus of food for a while, having money in their pockets at least enables people to reach it."
More than 100,000 people are participating in the mobile cash transfer program, which is being funded by UKAID. Each will be provided with low-cost mobile phones and they will receive monthly text messages that entitle them to collect cash from Airtel agents.
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