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Govt plans to train Social Cash Transfer beneficiaries

The government is revealing plans of training beneficiaries of the Social Cash Transfer Program on how to save and invest their money as a measure of making the project more effective.

Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, has disclosed this on Thursday at Kajawo Village in the area of Traditional Authority-T/A Mlilima in Chikwawa district during the distribution of cash to beneficiaries.

The intended training has come after observing that some individuals are failing to use the money for the intended purposes. It has further been noted that some are using money received through the program for leisure activities like beer drinking.

“We asked the Irish ambassador to Malawi yesterday (Wednesday) to link up with a number of donors to support us in 2021 and make sure that all the remaining beneficiaries in every district are paid through the bank,” highlighted Kaliati.

If e-payment is encouraged among the beneficiaries according to Kaliati, a saving culture among them will be inculcated.

She adds; “In that way, we will also be training and encouraging them to save the money so that they do not misuse it.

“In cases where the banks are asking them (beneficiaries) on whether to withdraw the whole amount or not, chances are that they will hesitate unlike where they already have cash in hand.”

While calling for the government to consider increasing the number of beneficiaries in the lower Shire district, Chairperson for Chikwawa District Council, Gerald Bede, pointed out that mechanisms for proper use of the money have been put in place.

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“We have planned through VDCs, ADCs, councilors and T/As so that those who are misusing those funds from the government should face punitive measures,” emphasizes Bede.

The Social Cash Transfer Program targets the rural ultra-poor and labor-constrained households. Currently, there are about 300,000 households benefiting from the project with the government now targeting about 1.3 million households nationwide.

In the program, the least paid get MK28,000 and others are getting up to MK44,000 depending on the number of people within the household set up

Each person is also receiving an additional MK20,000 as a relief during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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