Malawi hails social cash transfer scheme

Director of social cash transfer scheme in the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Esmie Kainja, has hailed the role the scheme has played in improving livelihoods of rural communities in the country.

A beneficiary of the Social Cash Transfer Programme

A beneficiary of the Social Cash Transfer Programme

Cash transfer beneficiary

Cash transfer beneficiary

Kainja said the programme has played a significant role in changing the socio-economic status of beneficiary households through attainment of assets, access to education and improved nutrition.

He was speaking in Mangochi on Friday during an interface meeting with the district’s task force on forthcoming cash payments to beneficiaries in the last phase of the transfer levels.

She said: “I would like to say without any fear of contradiction that the cash transfer initiative has been a very timely social protection programme which has uplifted beneficiary households from near destitution to self-sufficiency.”

Kainja stressed the need for thorough execution of the programme, especially now when there is looming hunger due to devastating floods which displaced thousands and washed away crop fields.

She pledged continued support from central government for the smooth implementation of the programme.

Kainja also said government has adjusted the cash transfers from a minimum of K1 700 per household to K3 500. She said the revision was in line with the general rise in the cost of living.

Gender, Children and Social Welfare chief accountant Francis Mwamadi called on district councils implementing the social cash transfer scheme to ensure they uphold high standards of financial management, advising councils to strictly spend within the budget lines.

Mangochi, which has 18 113 beneficiaries from the 104 village clusters, was among the first seven districts in the country to start implementing the social cash transfer scheme in 2007 alongside Chitipa, Machinga, Mchinji, Likoma, Phalombe and Salima councils.

The social cash transfer programme is a government social protection initiative supported by various development partners such as Unicef, KFW of Germany, Irish Aid and the European Union (EU).

Eligible households are expected to be labour- constrained and ultra-poor with school- going children receiving an additional bonus for primary and secondary school respectively.

The scheme targets child and single parent -headed households as well as the elderly and chronically ill.

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