Over 4.2 million Zambians will benefit from the social cash transfer programme by the end of this year. Minister of Community Development and Social Services Olipa Phiri said Government is this year targeting to reach out to 700, 000 beneficiary households, and this will translate to about 4.2 million individuals benefiting from the programme.
She said Government has scaled-up the programme from 32, 643 beneficiaries in 2011 to 574, 663 in 2017. “By the end of this year, we will reach out to 700, 000 beneficiary households which translates to about 4.2 million individuals,” Mrs Phiri said. The minister was speaking during a community meeting held at Kapundu
Primary School on Sunday during her familiarisation tour of North-Western Province to inspect Government projects.
She said Government deeply regrets the alleged malpractices in the administration of the social cash transfer funds meant for the poor.
The minister said the ministry is currently working with Smart Zambia
Institute to come up with a better way of paying social cash transfer
to the beneficiaries.
Mrs Phiri said Government, under the leadership of President Edgar Lungu is dedicated to reduce poverty in the country. She said in North-Western Province, Government is currently supporting over 36, 000 vulnerable households on the programme and intends to increase the number to over 51, 000 by the end of this year.
“You can clearly tell that this is a great effort in reducing poverty by our Government,” Mrs Phiri said. She said the ministry is also implementing other social protection programmes such as the food security pack, women empowerment, village banking and the public welfare assistance scheme meant to provide support to the less privileged in society.
Mrs Phiri said under the food security pack, over 7, 000 beneficiaries have been supported in Mwinilunga district and will this year provide agricultural inputs to 465 vulnerable but viable farmers in the district during the 2018/2019 farming season. She said 611 women will be supported next year under the Girls Education and Women’s Empowerment and Livelihood project.
“These women will be trained in business and life skills, and will be provided with a productivity grant amounting to K2, 000,” Mrs Phiri
said. She said this will enable them engage in viable businesses to support their households.
Mrs Phiri also said the village banking programme has supported 154 vulnerable women in Mwinilunga with K135, 000. The minister assured the people that Government will continue to implement all the social protection programmes aimed at reducing
suffering and poverty among Zambians. Mrs Phiri also said Government is committed and will continue with its pro-po