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Thursday, June 13, 2024

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    Government has noted that even after implementation of interventions such as Affordable Input Program (AIP), mega farms programs, and Cooperatives, aimed at alleviating hunger, there are still some families that are outliers in all these initiatives.

    Cognizant of this reality, the state president Dr. Lazarus Chakwera highlighted, through his State of the Nation Address (SONA), a host of social welfare interventions with the purpose to cushion this outlier category from the pangs of poverty. Chakwera delineated an inventory of cushioning interventions including the Social Cash Transfers Programme (SCTP), the Climate Smart Enhanced Public Works Programme (CS-EPWP), and a Food Security Response programme.

    With the SCTP, popularly and locally known as “Mtukula Pakhomo,” Chakwera revealed that his administration has hiked the monthly allocation, indicating that beneficiaries are cutting home K19 000, up from K9 000. He went farther to say that his government is considering increasing it even more. Chakwera also disclosed his administration’s plan to burgeon the beneficiary coverage by 5% from the current 10% to 15% of the country’s population.

    “Through the SCTP, also known as “Mtukula Pakhomo”, my Administration has increased the monthly allocation that beneficiaries receive from 9,000 Kwacha to 19,000 Kwacha, and this is already being considered for an upward revision.

    “But in keeping with my commitment to serve all Malawians, my Administration is currently sending this support to 290,979 households in all 28 districts of the country, with a plan to increase the coverage from 10 percent of the population to 15 percent,” said Chakwera.

    According to Chakwera, consideration for these social welfare interventions was also extended to least-income families in urban and peri-urban areas in Zomba, Blantyre, Mzuzu, and Lilongwe, with preferential treatment to those areas affected by climate change related issues. Districts affected by the Tropical Cyclone Freddy have also been considered in a similar manner, both categories will be pocketing K150 000 per household for three months.

    “I am aware, Madam Speaker, that income insecurity is also ravaging some households in urban and peri-urban areas, especially in those parts hit by climate change events. This is why my Administration has set up the Price Shock Urban Emergency Cash Transfer Programme, which will target 105,000 households in Zomba, Blantyre, Mzuzu, and Lilongwe, with beneficiaries receiving a total of 150,000 Kwacha over three months.

    “Similarly, in the districts of Blantyre, Thyolo, Phalombe, Chiradzulu, Mulanje, Nsanje, Chikwawa, and Balaka, my Administration is implementing the Tropical Cyclone Freddy Recovery Programme, targeting 31,955 households that will each receive a total of 150,000 Kwacha over three months,” promises Chakwera.

    President Chakwera also tackled the contribution of the Climate-Smart Enhanced Public Works Programme to job creation as 394 927 households are benefitting from a conditional cash transfer program that provides a wage to beneficiaries in all 28 districts in exchange for their work on various projects.



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