Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Mary Navicha has described the Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCTP) as a springboard that has transformed lives from poverty to an improved livelihood.
The minister has since pledged government’s commitment to sustain the programme by ensuring that more children in the targeted households benefit by keeping them in school, thereby reducing their illiteracy and early child marriages.
Navicha made the remarks in Mangochi on Tuesday when she opened the SCTP Annual Review, Planning and Budgeting Meeting.
At least 11 districts, namely Karonga, Rumphi, Nkhata Bay Nkhotakota, Ntchisi, Dowa, Lilongwe, Kasungu, Blantyre, Dedza and Chiradzulu are taking part in the World Bank-funded programme.
“The coming of the programme has largely reduced the various challenges vulnerable persons were facing in the country because we have seen the targeted families being able to buy food or produce on their own enough as well send their wards [children] to school,” said Navicha in an interview.
She said the targeted households are able to run some small businesses and buy some assets such as livestock.
To this end, she asked people who are in the forefront in the impact districts to join hands in making proper planning so that the implementation should not meet hurdles.
In his remarks, National Local Government Finance Committee director of operations Paul Chipeta said they are interested to fund the initiative because it is one of the viable tools that has empowered ultra-poor Malawians.
He, however, asked district councils to timely submit financial reports to avoid denying deserved people a chance to receive cash in time.