President Peter Mutharika on Tuesday announced government will be spending to help the country’s poor survive as restricting of movement of people starts to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
He said in national address Tuesday evening that despite the lockdown being blocked by the court, on its part government will proceed to do what is necessary to save lives as circumstances warrant.
“For me, the right to life is supreme above all other rights,” he said.
He said government will be “proceeding to restrict the movement of people.”
But he said government has put measures to cushion the citizens to survive life under restrictions on their movements.
The President said vulnerable households will get K35 000 a month for three months of curbs to life.
Mutharika said government is also introducing an Emergency Cash Transfer program to serve small scale businesses in and around our major markets in Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Zomba and others.
“This is an extended cash transfer program facility to support Malawians who depend on the markets for them to survive,” he said.
He said government will target a minimum of 172 000 households in these areas, representing an estimated 35 percent of the urban population.
“Considering family size of around 5 people based on the 2018 Household Census, this will translate to just a million people will be reached with this measure,” he said.
The Malawi leader said the program will be implemented for a period of six months translating into three months of response and three months of recovery.
“Each identified household will be paid electronically through mobile payments K35 000 per month and the amount is based on the prevailing government minimum wage rate,” announced Mutharika.
The President said his has directed Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and Ministry of Population and Social Welfare to devise an implementation process which will include registration of households in the hotspot areas and its immediate implementation behind the month of May 2020.
In addition to the emergency cash transfers in the peri-urban areas, President Mutharika said government will also provide cash top-up to existing beneficiaries of Cash Transfer) also known as Mtukula Pakhomo, an unconditional transfer targeted to ultra-poor, labour-constrained households.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :