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Cash transfers on rise

In Kenya, we have used mobile phones to transfer money to poor and vulnerable people. The scheme has been a success.

Today, the New Statesman published a report about this and the rise of cash transfers across the globe. According to the New Statesman, Concern’s approach “was markedly cheaper than normal wire transfer, and quicker and less dangerous than handouts.”

The article also talks about some of the problems:

40 per cent of those who required aid in the Kerio Valley [in Keyna] did not have access to [a phone]. Widespread illiteracy also provided challenges for a project that required the use of text messages.

Concern circumvented these problems by liaising with trusted, literate members of the community who owned handsets.

In September, Concern will start a permanent scheme targeting 5,000 families around Kenya in dangerous or isolated areas. Other agencies will be watching with interest. If it takes off, aid workers may find themselves having to add the language of txtspeak to their roster of local dialects.

  • Read the full article here
  • Click here to watch a video about Concern’s cash transfers