An Innovative Unconditional Cash Cost-Share Arrangement

SEADS Handbook Location: Chapter 6

In August 2008, armed conflict erupted between Georgia and Russia, and 130,000 people were displaced. Around 18,000 people were subsequently resettled in internally displaced person (IDP) settlements, while 8,000 people returned to an area adjacent to South Ossetia (AASO). For these displaced persons, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) implemented a food and livelihood security project that included irrigation, including the digging of numerous shallow wells.

Each shallow well was served by an electrical pump that provided irrigation water for up to 8 to 10 hours a day on a rotational basis. The start-up costs for the wells were shared between the participating households and FAO on a 50-50 split for the first US$1,000, with any additional costs being covered by the participating households. The recurring electricity costs were paid by the participating households alone.

Not all participating households opted to invest in irrigation. Some invested in livestock or bought seed, tools, and other equipment. Across the entire group of participating households, there was a 16% improved food intake over nonparticipating households. Those who invested in irrigation increased farm yields by 10–30%.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (2011). Final evaluation of the 1st and 2nd phases of the EU-funded project Restoration and Improvement of Agriculture based Livelihoods and Food Security for Internally Displaced Persons in the area adjacent to South Ossetia (AASO). FAO. Unpublished.