September, 2009-July, 2010
Distt. Swat, KP
LASOONA as local implementing partner with the support of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) jointly launched Swat Livelihood Early Recovery Project (SLERP) on 1st September 09. The total duration of project (Phase-I) was 6 months. It was basically emergency response project to address conflict affected people which included displaced families and those families who were stuck in war area. Geographically district Swat is divided into two parts i.e. Upper Swat and Lower Swat. Upper Swat was dropped from project area selection as it was not clear at that time and two union councils namely Kota and Udigram from Lower Swat have been selected for project intervention.
Programs have been used in a variety of contexts. Cash-grant, commodity voucher and cash-for-work activities are designed to increase purchasing power, enable beneficiaries to purchase items to meet their priority needs. The programs provided cash grant or vouchers or cash-for-work such as cleaning, repairing, filling or construction of retaining wall for irrigation channel and link road.
Cash grant was a prominent component of the immediate response to the war affected communities and 4200 cash grant were distributed to households in two UCs. The mid term reports described the LASOONA/CRS program, discuss experiences in implementing cash grant, commodity vouchers and CFW activities, and provides key recommendations for the implementation of similar programs in future.
Commodity vouchers and CFW were important components of overall response as it provided a substantial infusion of cash which helped to restart the local economy and provide support to economic markets. CFW provided an essential source of income for the majority of displaced people who have no other source of livelihood. CFW helped to facilitate return to their communities and provided a critical source of cash for war affected communities and helped empower displaced populations to return to pre-war residences. Other reported psychosocial benefits of CFW included providing productive activities for war affected families and giving communities an opportunity to work together. Through CFW 10,000 unskilled and 1000 skilled jobs were provided to local communities in the target UCs.
LASOONA experience in two UCs demonstrated that relief efforts that provide cash disbursements to local populations can be safely delivered on a widespread basis in emergencies, and that, when implemented on a short-term basis, can have positive impacts at the individual as well as the community level. Commodity vouchers provided an opportunity to communities to purchase items on their need basis. CFW program contributed to community recovery by supporting clean-up and reconstruction of projects to restart their agriculture activities.
On the basis of successful implementation of the first phase, Phase-II of the SLERP started from March 2010, and hence the project activities extended to two new Union Councils namely Charbagh and Gulibagh. The project targeted about 2800 families comprised of 19,600 individuals (estimated 10,192 female and 9,408 male).