Malawi Government has said the Social Cash Transfer Programme is on track and it will ensure that target communities are reached.
The programme, being implemented under the 2012/13 national budget, is meant to cushion the poor from the devaluation of the kwacha and its subsequent flotation.
Finance Minister Dr. Ken Lipenga told Business News in Lilongwe that currently 29 000 households with approximately 119 000 people are benefiting from the programme.
The minister said this during a signing ceremony of the technical cooperation agreement for financing of three projects in various areas between government of Malawi and Germany. Germany government has provided a financial boost of K1.4 billion towards the social cash transfer programme.
The programme is currently being implemented in Chitipa, Likoma, Mchinji, Salima, Mangochi, Phalombe and Machinga districts.
â€œWith the resources that government will be receiving from the German government, it will be able to scale-up the programme to increase the number of districts to be covered by Social Cash Transfer Programme,â€ said Lipenga.
He said the programme is in tandem with governmentâ€™s strategies of mitigating the negative effects of recent economic reforms, especially among the poorest of the poor.
According to a 2012 annual economic report, notable achievements of the programme during the 2011/12 budget include the training of 21 social cash transfer trainers and the review of community and interagency models of case management in Lilongwe and Mchinji districts.
The 2012/13 nation budget indicates that K27.5 billion has been provided for four programmes under Safety Nets Programme.
These mainly include the Intensive Public Works Programme, the School Feeding Programme targeted towards 980 000 pupils in primary schools, the Schools Bursaries Programme targeting 16 480 needy students and the Social Cash Transfer Programme which will reach over 30 000 households across the country.
Minister of Economic Planning and Development Atupele Muluzi said during a press conference last week, that government in partnership with the donor community, have indicated that they willÂ scale up implementation of social safety net, according to the 2012/13 budget.
Muluzi saidÂ the programmes are aimed at helping the poor to cope with life.
During the 2012/13 fiscal year, the programmes will be scaled up to include people who may have fallen below the poverty line due to devaluation and rising cost of living occasioned by rising inflation currently at 25.5 percent as of August, according to the National Statistical Office (NSO).