Malawi and the European Union (EU) have signed an agreement which will see the 28-member country trade bloc giving Lilongwe 50 million euro (about K43 billion) for social support over a five-year period.
The money will be disbursed under the Social Support to Social Protection and Resilience (SoSure), which is the EU’s contribution to Malawi New National Social Support Programme (MNSSP II).
Speaking after signing the agreement on Tuesday in Lilongwe, EU Ambassador Marchel Gerrmann said Malawi is a world-class example in terms of social protection policy; hence, the EU continued support to such programmes.
He said: “The new programme we are signing today, the Social Support for Resilience Programme, has been developed at the same time as the MNSSP II. It has been shaped by the vision of Malawi having a coherent and comprehensive set of social protection interventions that effectively deliver enhanced support to those who need it the most.
“The objective of SoSure is reduce poverty through enhancing resilience among the most vulnerable households in Malawi.”
Gerrmann said the programme has three components which include, consumption support, systems strengthening as well as resilience.
“This programme builds on the ongoing EU support to the social cash transfer programme,” he said.
Currently, the EU support to social cash transfers covers seven districts, and transfers are being regularly provided to 270 000 beneficiaries in 65 000 ultra-poor households, most of them headed by women.
“The social cash transfers programme is a highly effective intervention of the Malawi national social support programme. An independent evaluation has confirmed that this programme has proven impacts in terms of asset accumulation, food security, women’s social economic empowerment and livelihood diversification among the poorest households,” he said.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe said the programme will operationalise some key pillars of the MNSSP, with special focus on enhanced food and nutrition security as well as enhancing the resilience of the rural population to the effects of climate change.
“Climate change has brought about a serious threat to our economy and is pleasing that this programme has integrated climate resilience-related activities into the programme,” he said.