Over 12,000 farmers in Iraq will receive funds to restart or expand agricultural activities via a new mobile money transfer program, says the UN food agency, FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation).
A recent article highlights a new scheme funded by the Belgian government called cash-for-work. Rural families will receive urgently needed money for farming investment through a mobile money platform facilitated by Middle East mobile telecommunications giant, Zain Group.
“FAO’s aim is to support people to get back on their feet as quickly as possible, and reduce their reliance on food assistance.”- Fadel El-Zubi, FAO representative in Iraq.
With no other income source, rural Iraqi families are some of the country’s most vulnerable. After years of damaged harvest resulting from conflict, 3.2 million of Iraqi’s 38 million people are without regular food.
“The use of mobile technology will streamline the safe delivery of cash transfers to participants.”- Fadel El-Zubi.
Having worked a set number of days, farmers will be sent a SMS with a code to give to a certified agent in exchange for their wages.
Not only will the cash-for-work program reinforce the country’s agricultural sector but the FAO hopes that it will encourage many displaced citizens to return home.
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eServGlobal is the technology provider for the mobile money platform offered by Zain in Iraq.