Over 590,000 households are expected to benefit from the Public Works Programme this year, as the Joyce Banda government has increased funds allocated to the Programme from K660 million to K10.67 billion.

his is part of the cautioning measures undertaken by the current administration following the devaluation of the kwacha.

Through the programme, citizens are given a certain wage in exchange of manual work.

Last year, the number of beneficiaries was at 250,000.

The Director of Planning and Development for Blantyre District Council, Precious Kantsitsi told a District Executive Committee meeting that the wage rate has also been increased from K200 per person per day to K300 per person per day with the number of days increased from 12 days to 48 days per year.

He said the programme which is scheduled to start next month, would therefore increase cash income for poor households and reduce food insecurities.

A recent analysis by the World Bank revealed that an additional 80 to 100 million dollars per year is needed to partially cover the loss of welfare of the poorest in both rural and urban settings of Malawi.

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