Helping families recover from the drought in Swaziland
Drought is not new to Swaziland. Many parts of the country frequently receive far too little rain. But this year has
been different. On the back of poor harvests in 2006, the rains throughout the country failed again this year.
This year's maize production is the lowest annual harvest on record and 60 per cent below last year's.
With food still available in the markets, but now too expensive for most poor households, we're providing cash transfers
to those who need it most for the first time since we began working in the country 40 years ago.
Our cash grants will help 45,000 of the poorest households in the Lowveld and Timber Highlands areas buy food, seeds,
farm labour or even livestock to help them protect and recover their ways of living. When they buy items with their new
cash, they will also help support local markets.
We have also developed an innovative partnership with Standard Bank and the national post office to help us distribute
the monthly cash transfers efficiently and securely.
Opening a bank account will give families the opportunity to save money, receive remittance receipts and might even
provide them with access to credit. We'll also be working hard to build people's financial literacy to help them
maximise the opportunities available.
The programme is due to continue until April 2008 to tide people through until their next harvest.