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348,000 households to benefit from social cash transfer

GOVERNMENT says a total of 348, 000 households will this year benefit from the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme, bringing the number to 590,000.
Ministry of Community Development and Social Services permanent secretary Davy Chikamata said in an interview that the implementation of the SCT is in line with Government’s desire to reduce extreme poverty and inter-generation transfer of poverty.
By the end of 2016, the SCT scheme reached 242,000 beneficiaries in 78 implementing districts.
“We seek to respond to a growing number of incapacitated households headed by the elderly, severely disabled, too young or too sick persons to cope with their challenging situations,” Mr Chikamata said.
He said the selected 348,000 beneficiaries for this year will be drawn from all the 150 districts.
Recipient households are entitled to K70 monthly which they receive on a bi-monthly basis as a sum of K140 while households with persons living with disabilities receive K280.
Mr Chikamata said the SCT programme has increased food security and reduced the poverty gap among recipient households compared to non-recipient by 10 percent and many beneficiaries now own livestock and are able to send their children to school.
The SCT programme was first piloted in Kalomo in 2003 under the social welfare department with the support of the German government and has since scaled up to 78 districts.
And the Impact Evaluation of the SCT programme report for 2015 revealed that the number of households having more than one meal a day increased by 19 percent. The evaluation also showed a reduction in poverty.
He said most of the recipients are now engaging in income-generating activities.

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