Malawi Government has set aside K38.9 billion for social cash transfers in the next six months to relieve vulnerable people in urban areas from effects of measures to contain further spread of Covid-19.
Minister of Population and Social Welfare Clara Makungwa made the announcement yesterday in Lilongwe during a press briefing where she outlined the rationale of the whole process.
She said there is a possibility of loss of employment, income and limitation of informal labour opportunities for individuals with high dependence on daily wage, especially in urban areas; hence, the relief package effective May. Said
Makungwa: “Government has set aside K38.9 billion to financially support vulnerable households in the cities of Lilongwe, Blantyre, Zomba and Mzuzu.
“The o b j e c t i v e i s to cushion the urban population and mitigate the impact of the outbreak on vulnerable households who rely on petty trading as a source of income for their livelihoods.”
The programme is targeting 35 percent of the urban population and its direct beneficiaries include vendors, minibus touts, kabaza operators, street children and beggars, petty traders and casual labourers living in densely-populated peri-urban hotspot areas.
P r e s i d e n t Pe t e r Mutharika announced on Tuesday this week that the programme is targeting 172 000 households in urban areas with 80 178 in Lilongwe, 66 744 in Blantyre, 17 258 in Mzuzu and 8 703 in Zomba.
The K38.9 billion will not be drawn from the National Covid-19 Response budgeted at K157 billion as it will come from development partners implementing the normal social cash transfers in the country such as European Union, GIZ and KfW.