Extend cash transfer programme to cities — MPs

Some Members of Parliament have asked government to consider establishment of Social Cash Transfer programme in the country’s cities.

MP Themba Mkandawire

Member of Parliament for Mzuzu City, Leonard Njikho and that of Blantyre City Central, Themba Mkandawire, made the request in Parliament on Tuesday when the Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Dr. Jean Kalirani made a sttatement on the current situation of the said programme.

Njikho and Mkandawire said people in the urban areas also face financial problems, hence the need to consider them with Social Cash Transfer Programme.

“People in urban areas make a lot of payments in electricity and water bills and house rentals, hence the need to consider them with the programme,” said Njikho.

In her response, Kalirani said government would consider extending the Social Cash Transfer Programme in the cities after covering the remaining 10 districts that did not initially benefit from the first phase of the programme.

“Urban areas would only be considered after covering the remaining 10 districts which did not benefit from the first phase of the programme,” said Kalirani.

She said rolling out the programme to the remaining 10 districts would ensure that all the districts in the country are covered and thereafter, the programme could be extended to urban areas.

Other parliamentarians who also made contribution to the statement asked government to help needy students with the Social Cash Transfers funds by paying them school fees. They said this would help them remain in school and reduce school drop outs.

Government has is implementing Social Cash Transfer only in selected districts where vulnerable members of the communities do community work for cash to improve their livelihood.

Currently, none of the country’s cities are beneficiaries of the programme

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