Locals gather at Pagnath village in the hilly Dailekh district in Western Nepal. WFP, in partnership with Siddhartha Bank, has launched a pilot of the country's first electronic cash transfer system under its Cash-For-Assets schemes to vulnerable people in the village.
Pagnath is a two-hour drive from the nearest market along a bumpy dirt track. Poor soil quality, steep terrain, a lack of irrigation facilities, and traditional farming methods mean life is tough for farmers in this area. Although most households are involved in agricultural production, the majority produce only enough food each year to last for between three and six months.
Moti Thapa, the head of Nepalgunj sub-office in mid-western Nepal, informs the locals about WFP programmes to fight hunger and improve livelihoods. Along with food, WFP is providing cash to beneficiaries in exchange for their labour in asset-building activities such as irrigation projects and drinking water schemes.
Rupa Thapa, 60, (L) verifies her fingerprints in a biometric device in order to receive money for her work on the scheme. Smart cards are being distributed to 484 households in the village. People work for a maximum of 80 days during agricultural lean periods and receive food and cash sufficient to meet four to five months of their annual cereal requirements.