The government has increased beneficiaries of social cash transfer to 24,000 from 8,000 following the Irish Government decision to increase the budget to K20 billion.
The Government of Ireland through Irish Aid on Thursday signed a grant agreement with Malawi worthy €20.5 million (almost K20 billion) in support of government’s cash transfer program.
The Irish funding for the cash transfers was initially €13 million (almost K14 billion) in the last nine years.
Social commentator Humphrey Mvula says the increase in the funding is a show of confidence in President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera’s administration.
The funding has been increased to €20.5 million for the next 4 years.
The increased funding has since enabled Malawi Government to increase beneficiaries in Ntcheu and Balaka from 8,300 to 24,500 households.
The agreement has been signed on Thursday in Lilongwe.
Minister of Finance Alfred Sosten Gwengwe signed the agreement on behalf of Malawi and said that government remains committed in improving the welfare of people with an aim of reducing poverty and vulnerability through social protection initiatives.
Gwengwe said government recognizes that social protection is a powerful tool in the fight against poverty and eliminating lifelong consequences of poverty and exclusion.
Gwengwe said social protection initiatives have proved to have a huge positive impact on the lives of beneficiaries and their families as such the grant that they have received from Irish government will be specifically for the implementation of social cash transfer program.
“There is evidence from impact evaluations done locally and internationally which show that the social cash transfer programmes have enhanced household purchasing power, increased savings and investments among the beneficiary households who acquire assets like livestock, increased food expenditure and dietary diversity thereby contributing towards improving nutritional status of children through the support provided to the households,” said Gwengwe.
He added that government with help of the international community will continue investing in people to ensure accelerated development.
“We are convinced beyond reasonable doubt that social protection is an investment for our people. No vulnerable Malawian should be left behind in development.
“The Government will therefore continue to provide resources for implementation of social protection programmes in the country. As we do this, i invite other likeminded Malawians and friends of Malawi like Republic of Ireland to continue collaborating with the Government in support of these noble initiatives,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :