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K38.9 billion for Covid-19 idle

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There is no direction yet on how the K38.9 billion Covid-19 Emergency Cash Transfer Programme which was supposed to support 172, 000 people in urban and rural areas affected by Covid-19 will be utilised.

The Reserve Bank of Malawi pumped in K6.2 billion which is currently with Treasury while K32.7 billion was support from the World Bank.

Government anticipated rolling out the programme in June using the K6.2 billion while World Bank would come later in July.

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The programme was designed to be giving out K35, 000 monthly for a period of six months to the beneficiaries in an event of a lockdown which was shot down by an injunction obtained by Human Rights Defenders Coalition.

In an interview Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Charles Kalemba, said the money is still there and intact.

“The programme is still there but then we are supposed to go back on the drawing board to rework on what is it really that we are targeting. Secondly when government changes just as we have done with the budget, it means we also have to get a new direction. So this far we have not sat down yet to see what outlook the programme will wear,” he said.

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After the programme was suspended there was a divided opinion from the public where others said people still need the money while some said the money should be channeled to other initiatives as lockdown was not implemented.

The programme is being implemented by Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare assisted by the Ministries of Finance, Economic Planning and Development and Local Government and Rural Development.

A month ago Anti-Corruption Bureau Director General Reyneck Matemba said it will be monitoring the management of the K38.9 billion so as to ensure the money serves the intended purpose.

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