Malawi’s poorest are expected to reach 9:5 million in 2020 from the current 1:5 million and international charity, Oxfam is asking the government to increase subsdies to protect the poor and vulnerable.
In a report, Oxfam says inequality between the halves and the halve nots is alarmingly increasing and there was need for immediate preventive measures to avert the situation.
One of the measures, Oxfam suggest, are the unpopular and infamous subsidy programms which donors and economists are urging the government to stop saying they are just a drain on the already constrained public resources.
Oxfam regional manager Nellie Nyang’wa said her organisation hoped the government and other stakeholders would start working on the report to reduce the number of poor Malawians.
Finance minister Goodall Gondwe conceded the number of poor people is going up and attributed this to high inflation and currency instability among other factors that has pushed the cost of living for ordinary Malawians up.
Meanwhile, the Local Development Fund (LDF) has launched a cash transfer programme for the poorest in Dedza and Nkhata Bay.
LDF executive director Charles Mandala said 21000 are on the programme and they will receive a monthly allowance of K20000 to K30000 per family depending on the number of poor beneficiaries in the family.
He said the districts and families were selected depending on their respective poverty profiles.
Mandala said there are 16 other districts on social transfer and are funded by Unicef and European Union. The LDF social transfer is funded by the World Bank.