Minister of Gender and Community Services, Patricia Kaliati has warned that government would not hesitate to remove beneficiaries who abuse the cash meant to caution them from Covid-19 economic pain.

The Minister made the remarks at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe after launching the Covid-19 Urban Cash Initiative targeting the cities of Blantyre, Zomba, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.

She said the initiative would help the urban poor to sustain their livelihoods during the difficult economic period and beneficiaries are expected to use the money for the intended purpose.

“This is important because we have a number of challenges in the semi urban, we have townships like Mphwetekere, Area 36, Likuni, Mzuzu, Blantyre as well in Areas such as Machinjiri and Ntopwa among others and Zomba as well.

“The programme aims to support the vulnerable such as child headed homes and we even said those with physical challenges and the elderly need to be supported. We will not hesitate to remove from the list those who abuse the funds for example to use it for buying alcohol and marry more wives,” Kaliati warned.

The Minister said since the inception of the cash transfer programme in 2006 a number of the poor families have been able to improve their livelihoods through investment such as in pig, goat and poultry farming and was optimistic that the current beneficiaries would emulate the others.

German Deputy Head of Mission for the Germany Government to Malawi, Sabina Lindemann said she was optimistic that the beneficiaries in the cities of Lilongwe and Blantyre which her government was supporting through KFW would now get the needed support for their daily needs through the K35,000 a month support.

United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Representative to Malawi, Rudolf Schwenk described the launch of Covid-19 Urban Cash Initiative as a very good day for the country as it would enable the vulnerable and poor people, especially women to support their children through this initiative.

The Covid-19 Urban Cash Initiative will benefit a total of 199,460 families which will receive K35,000 a month for a three-month period from January to March, 2021 and 63, 624 beneficiaries have already received their money for the months of January and February.

The K20.9 billion initiatives is being implemented with financial and technical from World Bank, European Union, the German Government through KFW and GIZ, Irish Government, ILO, WFP and European Union.

The beneficiaries in the targeted cities are receiving their money through mobile money providers TNM and Airtel.


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