Save the Children in partnership with Digicel Financial Services Limited recently worked together to reach 2,016 people in 339 households in disaster prone areas in the Morobe province as part of disaster preparedness work.
A total of K161,760 was distributed in the Mumeng and Watut local level government areas of the Bulolo District reaching a total of 2,016 men, women, youth, and children.
This follows a signing of a Memorandum of Agreement with Digicel Financial Services Limited and Save the Children in October last year to work in partnership on Mobile Cash Transfers.
The MOA paved way for Save the Children beneficiaries to receive cash support on their mobile phone using Digicel’s CellMoni.
CellMoni Supervisor for Momase Region, Anne Unage says, “We thank Save the Children for using CellMoni to do Cash and Voucher Assistance [CVA] with communities in Bulolo. The partnership enables beneficiaries to receive assistance in a faster and transparent way and to be financially included.
We are grateful to our partners such as MiBank and our authorised CellMoni Agents in Bulolo for facilitating cash withdrawals to the beneficiaries and their families. CellMoni is a digital wallet from Digicel that allows everyone to avail for digital payments without the need to have a formal bank account.
With CellMoni, customers can make cashless transactions to do bill payment, airtime top-up and send, receive and withdraw money using their Digicel phone.
The Mobile Cash Transfer is part of Save the Children’s Disaster Preparedness work under its CVA project supported by the Australian Humanitarian Partnership to have mechanisms in place to help families following a disaster like a landslide, cyclone, earthquake, or pandemic with cash payments for essential items.
Save the Children Humanitarian Manager, Isimel Tuembe says, “This is the first distribution in rural communities. We had challenges but turned them into successes in the end.”
“Apart from cashing out, beneficiaries were also able to open accounts with MiBank and that is a success for us because MiBank is also reaching out into the communities in terms of transferring funds from Digicel Cell Moni to MiBank then using the MiBank card to access funds and that is a success for us. And going forward we would like to use that relationship where Cell Moni has with MiBank in other provinces.”
Prior, to the distribution’s community sensitizations were also conducted in the district to ensure people understood the purpose of the activities by the Save the Children and CellMoni teams.
Selection of these communities were done in collaboration with the Morobe Provincial Disaster Office.
The pilot in Morobe Province demonstrates how private and non-profit organisations can collaborate successfully for digital cash disbursement in Papua New Guinea.