NSANJE-(MaraviPost)-Over 5000 beneficiaries of the Social Cash Transfer Program (SCTP) in Malawi’s Nsanje District have received extra cash from government to enable them meet their basic food and nutrition needs during the 2019/2020 lean season.
The last group, compromising 79 SCTP beneficiaries in Phokela Cluster in Traditional Authority Mbenje, received their money early this week.
This has been made possible through the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare with funding from European Union (EU) and German Government for support towards the 2019/2020 lean season response focussing on poor and vulnerable households.
EU and German Government have given Malawi a grant of about MK1.1 billion (MK710 million from the EU and MK398 million from the German Government) to be used for implementation of a lean season response through Vertical Expansion (VE) of SCTP in Nsanje, Neno and Phalombe districts.
A total of 14,915 ultra poor and labour constrained SCTP households (8,069 in Phalombe, 5,877 in Nsanje and 969 in Neno) will be covered by the response using these funds.
The beneficiaries in all the SCTP clusters in Nsanje received top up amounts ranging from MK46,000 to MK65,000, a gesture which brought to them relief and happiness.
Speaking when he presided over cash disbursement in Phokela Cluster early this week, Nsanje District Commissioner, Douglas Moffat, commended government and its development partners for the initiative, saying the money will also help people to recover from disasters and a draught that hit the district.
“The money is enough to some people here to enable them buy food, pay school fees for their children and buy farm inputs.
“Honestly, this is a boost on the progress and improvements they are already making on their lives by being beneficiaries of regular SCTP,” said Moffat.
Elise Lota from Major village is one of the SCTP beneficiaries in Phokela Cluster and received MK46,000 top up cash on Tuesday.
She explained that she looks after six orphans and that the extra cash accords them an opportunity to address their emergency needs.
“I will buy food and school uniform for the children,” Lota said while smiling.
And Dorrica Dausi from Hakwelo Village, an SCTP beneficiary for fives years, said she would use the extra money to buy some materials to finish up the house she stays in which she has been building with money earned through the regular SCTP.
“I am old and looking after six grandchildren. I am happy my house is now almost done. The major concern for us was where to stay especially when disasters struck,” she said.
The regular SCTP in Malawi, locally known as Mtukula Pakhomo, is a social protection instrument by the Government of Malawi that reaches out to ultra-poor and labour constrained households.
The program is covering all the 28 districts of the country and is reaching out to 292,237 households with about 1.2 million individuals.
Seventy percent of the households in the program are female headed and 57% of the individuals reached, are children below 18 years of age.
With high reach out to children, the program is playing a crucial role in the human capital development for the country.
Apart from EU and German Government, the program is also funded by World Bank, Irish Aid and the Government of Malawi with UNICEF providing technical support.