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Economic Development and Opportunity

Food Crisis Cash Transfer Project (FCCTP)

Project Duration:
June 2009 - June 2010
Grant amount:
USD 1,931,101
United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
Geographic Areas:
Kailali, Dadeldhura, and Baitadi Districts, Far Western Region
Project Beneficiaries:
15,295 households
Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) - Baitadi, Dadeldhura and Kailali Districts Chapters

The Challenge

Community members constructing a dual fish pond-irrigation pond under a food security-focused Cash for Work schemeCommunity members constructing a dual fish pond-irrigation pond under a food security-focused Cash for Work scheme

The crisis in world food markets due to food price volatility drastically decreased food security and purchasing power for the poorest populations. The global rise in food prices increased the level of vulnerability and suffering in many already food insecure communities of rural Nepal. People reacted by adopting negative coping mechanisms such as borrowing money at unfavorable terms, selling livestock, consuming less preferred and/or wild foods, and, in extreme cases, removing children from school. In 2008 and 2009, this vulnerability was also exacerbated by natural disaster for the communities affected by flooding in the Far Western Terai (plains), and for communities affected by drought in the Mid Western and Far Western hills and mountains. According to WFP's 2009 estimate, the number of food insecure people in Nepal in need of assistance was 3.4 million.


Community constructed  an irrigation canal in BaitadiCommunity constructed an irrigation canal in Baitadi
Hydropower constructed in Chaukham,  BaitadiHydropower constructed in Chaukham, Baitadi

Building upon the success of the pilot phase (November 2008- June 2009), Mercy Corps and WFP expanded cash for work (CFW)-based food assistance activities from 10 to 27 VDCs, and from over 2,200 households to 15,295 households. These expanded CFW activities were implemented in partnership with the Baitadi, Dadeldhura and Kailali Districts Chapters of the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS). The 27 target VDCs included eight in Baitadi; eight in Dadeldhura; and, eleven in Kailali, selected with reference to WFP's Protracted Relief and Rehabilitation Operation (PRRO) rankings. Furthermore, priority was given to VDCs whose wheat crop was severely affected by the winter drought of 2008/2009; and, to VDCs suggested by local Government of Nepal stakeholders. The feasibility of cash delivery and market access was also considered when selecting target VDCs.

A collection center for agri products constructed in Sahajpur, KailaliA Collection center for agri products constructed in Sahajpur, Kailali

Throughout the expansion phase, 15,295 households worked for 50 days per ward on community-prioritized schemes, which provided them with income generating opportunities at the rate of Nepalese Rupees (NPR) 140 per person per day. Cash payments were made to women only. In order to maintain the infrastructure built during the project, participants have agreed to each contribute NPR 10 per day to a community-managed infrastructure maintenance funds. The completed schemes have improved irrigation systems; expanded flood mitigation works; improved agricultural roads; created new post-harvest storage facilities or agricultural collection centers; new or improved school infrastructure; expanded drinking water systems; and, in several cases, micro-hydropower units. Targeted wards sent one person per household to participate in the schemes, which in turn encouraged community cohesion. Beneficiaries participated in "public audits" twice during each scheme, which have resulted in 92% of beneficiaries reporting that they are fully aware of their entitlements.


Apart from the above, evaluations showed that:
- 99.7% of beneficiaries received the wage cash on time;
- 90% of beneficiary had full awareness of their entitlement;
- 85% of beneficiaries were satisfied with the wage rate;
- 96% of beneficiaries confirmed that community was involved in scheme selection process;
- 99% of beneficiary confirmed that food security was improved due to the intervention;
- 78% beneficiary reported that the variety of food consumed was increased after the project; and,
- 81% beneficiary reported that out-migration was decreased due to the project.