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Govt set to roll out social cash transfer to all districts

Owing to the impact the social cash transfer programme has made by improving the social-economic status of its beneficiary households, government will soon roll out and the programme in all the 28 districts in Malawi.

Minister of Gender, Child and Community Development, Anita Kalinde said the government will roll out the programme in order to consolidate its efforts of poverty reduction

Kalinde was speaking Wednesday at Mase village in the are of Traditional Authority Chowe in Mangochi after visiting some of the social cash transfer programmes.

The minister said the cash transfer programme, which is currently operating in seven districts of the country would be rolled out to all the 28 districts countrywide with a budgetary support allocation of K250 million.

“The current budget which is at K100 million will be increased to K250 million during the mid-term review of the national budget to effectively reach out to more people.

The other funds will be drawn from donors,” she pointed out.

Kalinde further said government has developed a national social protection policy which would embrace all issues affecting vulnerable groups of people in the socity.

She said the policy would be launched soon after President Joyce Banda.

“The social cash transfer is one programme which complements President Banda’s vision of reducing poverty, hunger and starvation in households which are ultra poor and at the same time labour constrained,” said Kalinde.

She expressed satisfaction with the way the programme was being run in the district, noting that its objectives of increasing and retaining enrolment in schools and improving health and nutrition were being met.

Acting District Commissioner for Mangochi Sam Kalanda disclosed that over K155 million had been disbursed since the inception of the programme in the district in 2008 with a bank balance of K58 million.

However, Kalanda asked the government to consider increasing the monthly transfers so that they were in line with the current economic trends.

“Much as we appreciate the effect of the cash transfers on beneficiary households, we are unable to accumulate enough assets,” he observed.

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