The Grain Banks Initiative

To help the most venerable households during the lean seasons and mitigate seasonal hunger, the Citizens’ Charter is working with the Community Development Councils (CDCs) to establish the grain banks in the villages, by encouraging the better off and middle-class households, individuals and local businesses to donate to the poorest families.

The Citizen’s Charter carries a detailed well-being/poverty analysis in each community to identify very poor and poor households. The grain banks target the most vulnerable households (usually female/ people with disability/ drug addicted headed households and Internally Displaced People (IDP). The grain banks are set up to mobilize and collect food items/specified goods as donations, whether in cash, in-kind or labor which must always be voluntary. In addition, the communities’ in-kind contributions can include heaters, heating fuel, clothing, blankets and other such non-perishable goods that may be of use in the vulnerable households without having to sell them first.

The CDC and the Vulnerable Group Sub-committee work with the communities and coordinate mobilizers to go door to door, collect the goods, document the goods, ensure their safe storage, and their equitable, fair, and well-targeted distribution. The CDCs and the Vulnerable Group Subcommittees, supported by the Youth Sub-committees jointly outline a draft plan for collecting food and other items for very poor households in the community.

Ensuring transparency and accountability in the process of contribution and distribution of food items, is one of the core elements of the grain banks establishment which is as follows:

1- The “Vulnerable Committee” elected by the villagers manages the overall grain banks operations;

2- The CDCs monitor the grain banks operations;

3- Flyers are used to increase awareness on collection and distribution of the grain banks in the villages. The CDCs and the villagers are also making sure that they protect and keep the food items safe by selecting a suitable area for stock with below requirements:

1- The stock should be located in a secured area in the center of the villages;

2- Honest and accountable person is selected as stock keeper;

3- The stock area has to be dry and free of insects.

4- The food items are placed on wooden boards or plastic mats in order to avoid moisture.

5- The items at the high risk of spoiling are distributed at an earliest opportunity.

Achievements so far:

Establishment of 11,244 grain banks benefiting 92,512 HHs across the country.

Over USD 6.2 million and 437 Jeribs of Land donated by people