Written by YAMIKANI SIMUTOWE
BLANTYRE—World Food Programme (WFP) says it has managed to disburse cash transfers to more than 67,000 beneficiaries in central and southern districts of Malawi. The Malawi government joined forces with WFP and mobile service provider Airtel Malawi to launch an ‘innovative cash transfer programme’ to help more than 100,000 people affected by food shortage in the country.
WFP claims that during the final week on November disbursed cash transfers to 67,000 beneficiaries in five traditional authorities in three districts, adding that the number of beneficiaries will increase as the lean period progresses.
“We will be able to assist some 108,000 people with cash transfers in the most vulnerable communities where food is available in the local markets. Given the right conditions, this system works well for everyone,” says WFP country director Abdoulaye Diop.
According to Airtel Malawi, participants are provided with “two-cost” mobile phones and each month they receive a text message entitling them to collect cash from an Airtel agent. “Airtel money is a convenient and time saving way of transferring cash. We are pleased to be part of a venture which has got so much potential as a means of assisting those in need,” says Maurice Newa, Airtel Malawi’s deputy Managing director.