Haiti to pay mothers school incentives via mobile

June 1, 2012
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Haitian man holds a child in makeshift camp after the 2010 earthquake The earthquake of January 2010 devastated much of Port-au-Prince

The government in Haiti says it will begin transferring cash credits to mothers who send their children to school regularly.

Each mother will receive up to $20 (£13) a month and the transfers will be made via mobile phone.

The programme, called Ti Manman Cheri, or Dear Little Mother, aims to benefit initially a 100,000 families in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Venezuela is providing $15m (£9.5m) for the first phase of the programme.

Other Latin American countries, such as Brazil and Mexico, have adopted schemes that provide benefits to families who keep their children in education.

But the Haitian government says this is the first such initiative to use mobile phones for cash transfers.

Prime minister Laurent Lamothe said the programme represented “a revolution in the country.”

It will initially benefit families in four of the poorest areas of Port-au-Prince and should be extended to the rest of the country by the end of the year.

Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere.

It suffered huge human and material losses when it was hit by an earthquake in 2010.

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