Over 60 000 households benefit from urban cash transfer for Covid-19

2021-03-11 08:09:38

Over 60 000 households benefit from urban cash transfer

Ministry of Gender Community Development and Social Welfare has disclosed that about 63, 624 beneficiaries have already received their money for January and February from Covid Urban Cash Intervention (CUCI).

Speaking during a breakfast interaction with the media in Lilongwe Thursday, Minister Patricia Kaliyati said the beneficiaries are from cities of Mzuzu, Lilongwe, Zomba and Blantyre.

Government started giving out cash transfers to vulnerable urban households as a way of cushioning them from the negative effects of Covid-19.

She said 199, 460 selected households have started receiving monthly cash transfers of MK35, 000 ($46) per month, which will be done for three months starting from January.

“As of now over 63, 624 beneficiaries have already received their money for January and February payment at once amounting to MK70,000.00 per beneficiary,” she said adding that cash transfers are being made through mobile money service providers Airtel and TNM.

The minister said Malawi launched its National Covid-19 Preparedness and Response plan last year to effectively respond to any Covid-19 outbreak in the country by reducing morbidity and mortality from the disease.

“Among the strategies for implementation of the preparedness and response plan was the provision of emergency cash support through both the social support and the food security clusters.

“The programme is targeting 35 percent of the Urban Vulnerable informal workers who among others includes petty traders who also have within the household under-five children, the elderly and people with varying vulnerabilities,” she said.

While acknowledging that Covid-19 has resulted in increased poverty levels, UNICEF County Representative Rudolf Schwenk said the program is vital in helping those who have greatly been affected by the pandemic.

“The global pandemic has resulted in increased poverty levels due to halted businesses and redundancies in production companies. This project will go a long way in uplifting beneficially households,” said Schwenk.

Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy in Malawi responsible for Development Cooperation, Sabine Lindemann said the cash transfers to vulnerable urban households will transform the families beyond the pandemic.

He observed that the fund is crucial for families as they need support for children as well as strengthening women participation in small scale businesses.

The project is being implemented with financial and technical support from World Bank, European Union, the German Government through KFW and GIZ, Irish Government, ILO, WFP and UNICEF to the tune of K20.9billion ($27million).

By Chancy Namadzunda for The Atlas: https://www.theatlasmw.com/over-60-000-households-benefit-from-urban-cash-transfer/