Government has said it will release K13.2 billion to local councils for this year’s Public Works and Social Cash Transfer programmes as a way of transferring money to poor people for food.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodal Gondwe said this yesterday during a press briefing at the Central Office of Information (COI) in Lilongwe.
“In view of the prevailing socio-economic challenges and widespread food insecurity in the country, President Peter Mutharika has taken the decision to ensure that more cash reaches the rural and urban poor through Public Works and Social Cash Transfer programmes,” said Gondwe.
He said K11 billion is for Public Works Programme and K2.2 billion is for Social Cash Transfers. The money will be channelled to local councils through the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, he said.
According to the minister, each local council has been allocated an average of K380 million and the money will be paid to beneficiaries to help them purchase food and meet their immediate consumption needs.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa said to improve accountability of resources by the councils, the ministry has trained technical staff in all departments.
He also said a circular has been issued instructing all councils to start implementing Public Works Programme on the stipulated dates and strictly follow implementation guidelines issued by government from time to time.
Nankhumwa said the circular also instructs councils to finish payment of wages within a maximum of two weeks after completing the works and deploy technical officers to supervise the implementation of the work on daily basis.
A total of 3.4 million people or 6
6 500 households are expected to benefit from the Public Works Programme while 589 000 or 170 150 households will benefit from Social Cash Transfers, representing 66 percent of the 6.5 million people requiring food assistance this year.