Cash transfer program launched

Enjoying the moment at the Conditional Cash Transfer signing ceremony at the International Conference Center in Majuro were, from right: Bank of Marshall Islands CEO Velma Edwards, Finance Minister Brenson Wase, and Culture and Internal Affairs Acting Secretary Rebecca Lorennij. Photo: Hilary Hosia.

Bank of Marshall Islands (BOMI) agreed to waive usual bank account application fees for women enrolled in the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program.

The news was shared during the signing of an agreement between BOMI and the national government last week at the International Conference Center during the Early Childhood Development National Forum. The CCT is part of a large World Bank-supported project to address serious malnutrition and stunting problems in young children in the Marshall Islands.

Expecting mothers and mothers of children ages 0-5 are expected to register in the CCT program starting next month at the Ministry of Culture and Internal Affairs.

Applicants are required to provide both the baby and mother’s birth certificates and social security cards upon registration.

The CCT program is funded by the World Bank under the Early Childhood Development framework. The World Bank has committed $30 million over a five-year period to support the program, with $9 being invested in the CCT in an effort to give mothers funds that can support improving nutrition and immunization levels of small children.

Project Coordinator Kano Muller said the program will rollout on Majuro and Ebeye initially with a small number of mothers as a pilot project. This will lead to expanding the CCT program next year to target a majority of the population.

The neighboring islands will also be considered pending approval from the World Bank.

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