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Cash Assistance to Former Bush Meat Sellers enters third Phase

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Some 112 marketers, predominantly women, have benefitted from cash transfer assistance initiated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The marketers each received US$100. They are from the Rally Time market, one of four markets in Monrovia designated to benefit from the cash transfer assistance. The other markets are Red-light, Waterside, and Duala.

The cash assistance is to help women in this category find alternative livelihoods amid a ban placed on the sale of bush meat. Bush meat is one of the major sources for the

widespread of the deadly Ebola disease. 

Subsequently, many marketers have lost their source of livelihood and are indebted to suppliers.   

After being forced to terminate the source of their traditional income, few of these market women have transitioned into alternative livelihoods.

Edith Lasaw, a mother of 3, now sells cold water. With the cash transfer assistance received from UNDP, Lasaw says she intends to add groundnut and other commodities to the water.

“Things are hard. To feed three children in this town (Monrovia) by selling just cold water is not easy,” she said.

Alice Jallibah, 54, is a former leader of a group of bush meat sellers at the Red Light Market. Jallibah says she lost over LD$638, 950 as a result of the ban.

Daily gross sales for these business women range from USD$3 to USD$6 due to lack of working capital and other factors.

To stabilize household financial situations and to provide merchants with some liquidity that can be used as working capital for setting up alternative businesses of their choice, a one-time cash distribution of LD$8,200 (approximately USD $100) is being made available to eligible bush meat merchants by the UNDP. 

Over 244 market women in this category, have so far benefited from this cash transfer assistance.  Sixty-two (62) and Seventy (70) marketers were served during the first and second phases of the cash transfer assistance.

Due to limited budget, the project is being carried out only in Red-light, Waterside, Rally Time and Duala markets in Monstserrado County.  The Liberian Marketing Association (LMA) conducted a survey of the markets to collect information on those marketers in this line of business.  A total of 450 marketers were identified with 430 approved.