Cash transfer programLesotho's Child Grants Programme (CGP) and Sustainable Poverty Reduction through Government Service Support (SPRINGS)

Year Programme Began:2009
Implementing Ministry:Ministry of Social Development
Target Group:Poor households with orphans and vulnerable children (OVC)
Approximate Reach (as of 2015):25,000 households

The Lesotho Child Grants Programme (CGP) provides an unconditional cash transfer to poor and vulnerable households with the primary objective of improving the living standards of Orphan and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) through better nutrition and health status and increase school enrolment. The CGP is targeted at poor households with children, including child headed households. Households are paid quarterly with benefit sizes varying according to the number of children in the household. In mid-2015 the quarterly benefit size was approximately US$36 for 1-2 children, US$60 for 3-4 children and US$75 for 5+ children. Poverty eligibility is based on a proxy means score using the National Information System for Social Assistance (NISSA) plus a community validation.

To strengthen the impact of the CGP on poverty, FAO Lesotho began a pilot initiative in 2013, called Linking Food Security to Social Protection Programme (LFSSP). It sought to improve food security among poor and vulnerable households by providing vegetable seeds and training on homestead gardening to CGP beneficiaries. The CGP and LFSSP impact evaluation results encouraged a more comprehensive livelihood programme in 2015, called the Sustainable Poverty Reduction through Government Service Support (SPRINGS). The programme provides support in the form of: i) Community-based savings and lending groups, with financial education, known as Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC); ii) Homestead gardening, including support to keyhole gardens and vegetable seeds distribution; iii) Nutrition training through Community-led Complementary Feeding and Learning Sessions (CCFLS); iv) Market clubs for training on market access; v) One Stop Shop / Citizen Services Outreach Days.