Malawi rolls out K38bn cash handouts to combat coronavirus impact

Malawi government on Thursday officially launched  an emergency cash transfer programme targeting about 1 million people and small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which  President Arthur Peter Mutharika  announced  on Tuesday.

Finance Minister Mwanamvekha (L) and other dignitaries  as Malawi  launches  an emergency cash transfer programme targeting about 1 million people and small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic

Mutharika  announced  about the  emergency cash transfer programme for the poorest people in what is one of the world’s poorest countries ,  as government is tragetting 172,000 households, who will receive  K35 0000 monthly payment equivalent to almost $50 (£40) through mobile money transfer from Friday.

Speaking at a media briefing,   Minister of Population and Social Welfare Clara Makungwa,  outlined the rationale of the whole process, saying households will be  80 178 in Lilongwe, 66 744 in Blantyre, 17 258 in Mzuzu and 8 703 in Zomba..

She said the programme is targeting 35 percent of the urban population and its direct beneficiaries include vendors, minibus touts, kabaza operators, street children and beggars, petty traders and casual labourers living in densely-populated peri-urban hotspot areas.

Finance and Economic Planning minister Joseph Mwanamvekha  said in aninterview   K38 billion has been set aside for the cash aid and  the identified household will get the money for six months.

He said the amount is based on the prevailing government minimum wage rate for  the low-income country, which so far seen has 37 positive cases of COVID-19 and three deaths. The first cases were announced on 2 April.

“As President Professor Peter Mutharika said in his national address, this emergency cash transfer programme  will strengthen livelihoods during the coronavirus crisis,”  said Mwanamvekha.

He government wants to prevent harm to the poorest and most vulnerable of society as curbs to life are going to be strictly enforces to prevent spread of the virus pandemic .

Leader of opposition in Parliament Robin Lowe welcomed the launch of the cash aide as he attended the launch representing opposition parties as a member of the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19.

The World Bank said last week it had approved a $37 million funding package to help Malawi respond to the coronavirus.

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TooLegitToQuit
TooLegitToQuit
9 months ago

What about those hardworking folks in Rumphi, Mangochi, Nsanje, etc? Tell you what, this is an exercise in futility. A waste of time and resources. This is a convenient conduit for the dpp to scheme money. I give my middle finger to the government.

Jason Lunn
Jason Lunn
9 months ago

The money should be used for testing, prevention and treatment. The economy, the health and well being of citizens in a country like Malawi won’t survive if Corona virus takes hold. While the numbers are low, allow the domestic economy to continue where possible and completely shut down the borders to contain the virus. This will allow businesses to continue, people can have access to food/relish and money can be given directly to hospitals to avoid the corruption that will ensue if it has to go from top to bottom. And 175000 households… doesn’t even scratch the surface and probably… Read more »

Were
Were
9 months ago

Boma ilooooo

Bamusi
9 months ago
Reply to  Were

Ndalama izi sadapeleke ndi Pumbwa wanuyo ayi ndala izi zachoka kunja zithandize kuthetsa matenda a covid 19 sizoti boma lip stupid, Kuba basi. A Malawi open your eyes.

President Chisokonezo
President Chisokonezo
9 months ago

Tangotengani ndalamayo mugulire mankhwala amene akuchiza anthu ku Madagascar Moreover ma case athu are less than 40.

nafundo zalo
nafundo zalo
9 months ago

allowances and fuel ya ma
ministers
members of parliament
2000 healthcare workers
increment ya ma prison warden
nurses and doctors
mec
nrb
mtukula pakhomo
ma Covid 19 teams
NDALAMA ZAKE ZOSE NDI ZINGATI

Gabor
Gabor
9 months ago

In the name of corona virus

Good citizen
9 months ago

Thats good, Lowe on the consractive leadership for the best of Malawi.
Chakwera & Chilima carry on decieving each other as Chakwera want to benefit from Chilima while Chilima plans to carry on using vp position for his party as he can’t spend the whole term under someone

Dr. Mvuma
Dr. Mvuma
9 months ago

Shaaah, What was the basis for the selection of the 172,000 H/holds? Malawi has approx. 17 Million people and most of them are rural and with an average of 5 persons per H/hold, the Arithmetic does not hold. And who will be responsible for distribution of the cash? Yoooweeh, with the ridiculously high levels of corruption in the country, this is free for all and the benefits wont reach the intended beneficiaries unless stringent measures are put in place. This will need the involvement of all stakeholders, inclusive of opposition parties.

Phwisa
Phwisa
9 months ago

The only problem is laxuty by Govt in nipping corona virus transmission in the bud. Imagine today people entering Songwe and only to be found he is positive when he is in BT. Is there any testing in the borders. What about quarantine at the borders. Then Govt bowing down to political and human rights pressures. Now the virus is here to stay.

Fingo
Fingo
9 months ago

I hope the new Taskforce will pivot Malawi’s Covid response back to the correct path: Increased testing, contact tracing and quarantine of positive people. Rushing to lockdown or cash safety nets when the true extent of infections is not known is not a wise strategy. More testing kits, and more staff (with appropriate PPE and training) to carry out the tests should be the priority. Covid 19 infections increase exponentially – having one or two cases per day just does not make sense. There are a lot of positive people out there infecting others unknowingly because Malawi is not testing… Read more »

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