The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has proposed an upward revision of the transfer amounts in the Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCTP).
Unicef Chief of Social Policy, Edward Archibald, said, due to the widespread poverty in the country, scaling up of effective and efficient social protection programmes such as SCTP is of critical importance.
Archibald made the remarks in Lilongwe on Monday when he briefed journalists on Unicef’s 2018/19 budget proposals.
Currently, each household receives an average of K7,000 per month, which, Unicef feels, is on the lower side.
“The government should gradually increase its share of the social protection budget for sustainability purposes, provide leadership in the harmonisation of financing mechanisms and periodically review transfer amounts in light of the cost of living,” he said.
Archibald added that recent evaluations of the SCTP have shown positive impacts on the material well-being of children; hence, the need to increase amounts.
He further said cash transfers have contributed to food security, household consumption and ownership of both agricultural and non-agricultural assets.
Unicef has since recommended that the government’s contribution to the SCTP should be revised upwards, from K1.5 billion in 2017/18 to, at least, K2.5 billion.
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