Thammarat’s website Instructed Citizens Against Giving National Information or Numbers to People who Come to them at Home.
Shomoul is on A mission to Democratize Finance and Leave no One in Sudan Without Access to All the Financial Instruments Available in the Country
Report: Haffiya Abdalla
Sudan Family Support Programme (SFSP) is a cash transfer program. It aims at mitigating the adverse effects of economic reform measures for the most vulnerable families in Sudan. They will receive monthly EUR 4 per family member (up to $5 per for families) over a period of 18 months. The rollout started now in the southern outskirts of Khartoum and expanded to South Kordofan, Red Sea State, and Kasala. The end goal is to reach 80% of the population – 32 million citizens.
The cash payments are linked to the national ID card number and the launch event was the start for the enrolment of eligible citizens to the program so that they can receive the monthly payments. These registrations are set up in the civil registration offices to facilitate the registration of citizens.
Prime Minister Abdulla Hamdok has launched the Sudan Family Support Program last February 24 /2021 who considered it as “possibly the biggest achievement” of its transitional government so far.
The Sudan FinTech Association (Shomoul) organized a webinar on the Sudan Family Support Program (SFSP) being implemented by the Sudan Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. The webinar was addressed by Magdi Amin, Sr. Advisor, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, and Tarig Makkadi, Data Governance, and Privacy Advisor, SFSP.
And moderated by Ammar Hamadien, a leading ICT Expert and Executive Chairman of Shomoul.
The project’s objectives are to assist the Government of Sudan to effectively provide cash transfers to the targeted population to mitigate the effects of the expected economic stabilization, to expand and improve the efficient provision of cash assistance to Sudanese households to mitigate the effects of expected economic reform and ongoing economic hardships.
Advisor, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Magdi Amin said that the Family Support Program is strategic it makes reforms more sustainable, helps Sudan reach HIPC, and leads to widespread digital payments. This unlocks financial inclusion, formalization of economic activity, and is an enabler for digital payments that has been proven throughout the African continent.
The Advisor pointed out that the program has gone and completed major internal and administrative milestones, to create a design that is fit for purpose, accessible to ordinary Sudanese, and builds on strategic assets, saying that 80% National ID coverage and 80% mobile penetration.
Amin said the Family Support Program helps families to withstand these shocks, well-sequenced cash. Migration provides the political and fiscal space for economic reform, builds trust and accountability, adding that social safety nets provide support to the poorest and most vulnerable while providing a referral platform to social services
Data Governance and Privacy Advisor, SFSP, Tarig Makkadi presented data governance and privacy legislative process said that ( SFSP) is considered the first digital finance program in Sudan that relies on data, besides, data protection and privacy of the Sudanese Households.
It is worth noting that Shomoul is on a mission to democratize finance and leave no one in Sudan without access to all the financial instruments available in the country. They endeavor to work with all stakeholders in both the public and private sectors to facilitate access to affordable, accessible, easy to understand, and fair financial services to everyone across Sudan.
Shomoul is a center of excellence in FinTech thought leadership, collaboration, sandboxing, education and training, and mentoring. By connecting all stakeholders with a growing global FinTech ecosystem, Shomoul will support the growth of FinTech as a driver for financial inclusion in Sudan.
According to AlTaghyeer for instance, citizens inhabiting the southern Khartoum region –al-Salama, al-Azhari, and al-Kalakla – confirmed that the registration procedures were easy, while many complained that the money did not reach them in their accounts, unlike their neighbors who registered alongside them.
A citizen in the Id Hussein area, Ahmed Abdel Karim, that had registered for the “Thamrat” program more than a month ago, but has yet to receive any money so far.
His neighbor, Othman Taha, indicates that he had registered using a “Zain” telecom operator number, but heard that registration via a “Sudani” telecom operator number in the “Goorooshi” service is faster and better.
Othman does not know whether this is true or just a popular myth.
Citizen al-Tayeb Farouk clarified that he had registered more than «4» months ago in the al-Kalakla district, but did not receive monetary support while acknowledging that many with him in the neighborhood had received sums of money in their accounts.
Amwaj Abdullah, also a citizen of al-Kalakla, indicates that she had received support for April only, having not received the allotted sums for May and June.
While Ibrahim al-Sinari described the Thamarat program’s work as “unorganized”, saying that “among people, there are those who the amount went to twice a month, while others did not receive payment even once.”
Citizen Haider Abdul Qayyum, clueless about the whole process, said that he had no idea when and how the registration was carried out and that he “heard from the neighbors that they registered” while asking if it was possible for him to “register with the neighboring neighborhood?”
The Thamarat administration, however, confirmed that the allotments are reserved, and anyone fully registered will receive their amount, even if late.
The administration responded through their “for inquires” call number to these complaints, and made it clear that anyone who did not receive support should review the place of registration in the neighborhood or administrative unit.
The administration attributed delays to the probability of the registrant not having their phone number registered in their name or due to problems with the national I.D. number.
Thammarat’s website instructed citizens against giving national information or numbers to people who come to them at home.
The website pointed out that data registration is done through the two service entrances according to a specific time and place for each region.
New statistics stated that the number of registered families amounted to more than “901,262” families while the number of families that received support reached more than “252,554”.
Al-Safi admitted that there was a slowdown in the implementation of the program – launched last February – under the supervision of «4» ministries, namely Interior, Finance, Social Development, and Communications.
“The program was delayed due to the lack of an integrated system and database,” he said.
He stated that the donors stipulated an electronic payment system that reduces imbalances, prevents any suspicion of corruption and achieves financial inclusion.
Consumer Protection: The “Thamrat” program is a program in which citizens are humiliated and subdued
According to al-Safi, the registration reached “700,000” families, and the beginning was with “200” families and is projected to reach between “800,000” families to one million families soon, while noting that cash transfers had reached “500,000” families by the end of June.
Challenges and Accusations
Al-Safi acknowledged that great challenges are facing the “Thamarat” program, including the availability of the necessary data and infrastructure, and the Ministry of Finance is working with its partners in the program to overcome obstacles.