Manepo courts journalists on social protection
Malawi Network of Older Persons Organisation (Manepo) has asked the media to highlight issues of social protection, especially concerning senior citizens.
Manepo National Coordinator, Andrew Kabvala, said poor people are condemned to different risks and vulnerabilities as if the country cares not, when their situation can be addressed if journalists report social protection issues at length.
“Malawi continues to face substantial challenges of poverty and rising inequality. Half of the population lives in poverty while many citizens are vulnerable to falling into poverty over time. Inequality has also risen sharply meaning the benefits of Malawi’s growing economy are limited to a select few.
“The dialogue we had was aimed at mapping the way forward with the media on how they can critique the different social protection programmes that are implemented in the country to cushion the power,” Kabvala said.
He further said Manepo wants the media to help in advocating the implementation of minimum social protection programmes targeting the elderly, children and other vulnerable quarters since globally social securities are recognised as a necessary and effective approach to ensure the benefits of development are shared fairy, and no one is left behind.
“Social pensions have proven to be a successful approach to ensure income security for older people and their families, particularly in low-income agricultural economies where the role of contributory pensions is more limited. The media has the potential to help in the fight for social security issues in the country,” said Kabvala.
World Labour Organisation’s Social Protection Officer, Florian Jurgens, graced the interface and challenged government to address the gaps that characterise implementation of public works programmes.
Jurgens said the cash transfer and public works programmes have the potential of cushioning the poor and vulnerable people if modalities of implementing the programme are addressed to target the right beneficiaries.
“The programmes that are being implemented in the country are fantastic but the problem has been on targeting the right people. Malawi need to address these errors to ensure that vulnerable groups benefit from the social protection programmes that are being implemented,” said Jurgens.
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