UNDP announces mobile phone partnership to pay typhoon clean-up workers
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) and mobile phone operator Smart signed an agreement today for a mobile phone money transfer system to pay those employed in emergency cash-for-work schemes in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).
The three partners in the phone plan will distribute 50,000 mobile phones to beneficiaries who will enroll in one of the cash-for-work projects operated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), civil society or UN agencies in the areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
“The mobile cash transfer method agreed today with LANDBANK and Smart should play a critical role in making the cash-for-work arrangement safer, quicker and more comfortable for Typhoon Haiyan survivors," said UNDP Senior Recovery coordinator Yuri Afanasiev at the signing ceremony.
The Government of the Philippines and a number of organizations launched recovery programmes. UNDP contributes by operating cash-for-work projects in Tacloban, Palo and Roxas. In compliance with government policy, participating workers earn 260 pesos a day. They are paid every week, and each person can be employed for 15 days.
All workers wear protective gear and are vaccinated for tetanus in cooperation with the Australian aid agency – AusAID, WHO and other partners. The workers are selected in coordination with local authorities and community leaders to ensure that the employment opportunities are available to the groups that need it most.
The objectives of the cash-for-work programme include:
- Clearing debris to allow easier access for aid to reach affected households;
- Enabling people to bring home much needed income;
- Injecting cash into the local economy;
- Developing ownership of the recovery process; and
- Reducing the risk of disease by properly disposing waste.
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