DUSHANBE, March 4 (Xinhua) -- The UN World Food Program (WFP) had completed a program that provided cash to 1,426 low-income families in Tajikistan, a WFP representative announced Monday.
Each family received 500 Tajikistan Somoni (105 U.S. dollars) to buy food.
Aid in the form of cash enabled the families to choose the food they wanted, and allowed them to diversify their diet, said Alzira Ferreira, head of WFP in Tajikistan.
The pilot cash transfer was conducted in January and February in Ayni district of Sughd province, some 250 km north of the capital Dushanbe.
"WFP seeks to help families in winter, when income from seasonal employment and remittances from abroad are significantly reduced," Ferreira said.
Food stocks were exhausted in winter and families had to spend most of their income on fuel to keep warm, the WFP head said, adding wheat flour was very expensive in the country.
According to the World Bank, 46.7 percent of Tajikistan's eight million inhabitants live below the poverty line, or less than 2 dollars a day in 2009.