K505 billion to cushion vulnerable Malawians

Sosten Gwengwe

By Taonga Sabola

Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe has said government, with support from the World Bank, has set aside $489.76 million (approximately K504.5 billion) to cushion vulnerable Malawians in the wake of economic hardships.

Gwengwe disclosed this when he presented the 2023-24 national budget in Lilongwe.


The revelation by Gwengwe comes at a time the cost of living for Malawian households almost doubled in 2022, according to the Centre for Social Concern (CfSC}.

Gwengwe said through the project, the government is implementing the social cash transfer programme, enhanced public works programme and other livelihoods support programmes such as promotion of village savings and loan groups.

Commenting on the development, Centre for Social Accountability and Transpancy Executive Director Willy Kambwandira said while his organisation appreciates the significant amount allocated towards the programme, the implementation of social protection programmes is shrouded in secrecy, and that they do not institutionalised grievance redress mechanisms to help beneficiaries report complaints.


According to Kambwandira, government and development partners should put in place proper transparency and accountability mechanisms to ensure that resources benefit the intended beneficiaries, and that duty bearers account to s of the resources.

“It high time that government integrated accountability mechanisms into the social protection programmes,” Kambwandira said.

According to figures from CfSC, while, by December 2021, the cost of living for a household of six people was ranging between K250,000 and K300,000, by the end of December 2022 the cost of living rose to an average of K450,000.

CfSC Programmes Coordinator responsible for economic governance Bernard Mphepo recently attributed the rise in the cost of living in the year to the rise in headline inflation which stems from an increase in prices of basic goods.

He said the 25 percent Kwacha devaluation in May 2022 and the increase in fuel prices pushed food inflation high.

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