The first round of GESS 2020 Cash Transfers has started this week (beginning 18th May 2020) in order to support girls and their families to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased economic need of girls’ households, despite school closures.
Cash Transfers are one of the most effective ways to support people during a crisis. In addition to replacing lost income from the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, they can lessen the financial burden of physical distancing and enable girls to purchase both health and sanitation supplies.
The Cash Transfers are also an incentive to stay focused and to engage in learning at home so that girls do not fall behind, enabling them to return to schools when they reopen.
Over 400,000 girls – between Primary 5 and Senior 4 – across the whole country have been approved to receive this first round of Cash Transfers. Because the 2020 Cash Transfer validation process has not yet taken place, girls shall be paid based on 2019 enrolment and validation records. Girls that were in P4, P6, P7, S1, S2 and S3 in 2019 shall be paid based on 2019 enrolment data, while girls that were in P5 and P8 in 2019 shall be paid based on GESS’ own validation data. A second round of Cash Transfers shall be paid when schools reopen. Further details of the second round shall be shared in due course.
Each girl approved to be paid this first round of Cash Transfers will receive SSP 3,300. Girls must receive their funds in person. Girls who will not report to school at the time of payment will not receive their Cash Transfers.
We urge girls who are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 (such as fever, cough and other flu-like symptoms), those who have been in contact with anyone showing symptoms, as well as anyone that has been asked to self-quarantine including guardians, school managers, SMC member and payment agents, to stay at home. We will ensure that we pay these girls at a later date. Girls under 18 years old, and girls with disabilities, should be accompanied by a parent or guardian to ensure their safety, as well as to ensure that they receive the correct amount.
Girls who have been approved for payment should receive the full amount of their Cash Transfer with no deductions. Any attempt to take away funds, or to exchange funds for favours of any nature, whether by teachers, officials, police, or anyone else, is an offence, and will be dealt with accordingly.
This payment is expected to be more challenging due to the physical distancing restrictions and important hygiene measures put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure the safety of all those involved in the process, the GESS programme and partners will implement the required and approved Ministry of Health COVID-19 protective and preventative measures. In the current situation, ensuring good sanitation practices and physical distancing during the payments, and ensuring the safety of all those involved, is paramount.
To report any misappropriation of funds, threats to the safety of girls or anybody else involved in the Cash Transfer process, or if you have any queries, please contact the 2 hotline numbers for the Cash Transfers payment exercise:
- MTN +211 928 520 824
- Zain +211 917 647 891
For more information on COVID-19 and how to best protect yourself and your family, call the toll-free number 6666 in South Sudan.Tags: Cash Transfers, Coronavirus, Covid-19, Development, DFID, education, EducationCannotWait, GESS, girls' education, South Sudan