Minister of Community Development and Social Services targets to reach 700,000 beneficiaries of the social cash transfer by the end of this year. Minister of Community Development, Olipa Phiri disclosed this when she paid a courtesy call on Chief Kanyama and beneficiaries in Mwinilunga.
Ms.Phiri said the number of beneficiaries in North Western Province will increase from 36,000 to 51,000 by next month. Ms. Phiri says will continue to provide support to persons with disabilities, orphans and vulnerable children.
She said that under the food security pack , her ministry has supported over 7,000 beneficiaries in Mwinilunga District, adding that in the 2018/2019 farming season, 645 vulnerable but viable farmers will be supported with agriculture inputs.
Meanwhile, the International Labour Organization has called for increased financing on the social cash transfer ( SCT ) programme if it is to have an impact on eradicating extreme poverty in Zambia.
ILO Chief Technical Advisor on Social Security for Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique Luca Pellerano says this is because the current social protection interventions in place were inadequate to tackle poverty in the sub-region.
“ There is need for continued revising of the current amount beneficiaries were receiving and also increase taxes so that financing of the programme can be fully met, “ says Mr. Pellerano.
ILO technocrat said this during a Social Protection Public Discussion on Social Protection Financing held under the theme : “ How do we get it right?” in Lusaka, today.
Mr. Pellerano noted that Zambia was still spending less on social protection programmes compared to other countries in the region. He said the Seventh National Development Plan target of increasing social protection coverage will only be achieved if financing is increased and relook at the value beneficiary were receiving.
And government on the other hand says poverty levels were still high in rural Zambia and standing at 54.4% .
Ministry Of Community Development and Social Services Representative Manzunzo Zulu says , “ with such a scenario programmes such as social cash transfer and other interventions government was implementing remain key in addressing poverty.”
“ It is imperative that financing of social protection programmes are enhanced as this will stimulate economic growth, continue reducing poverty and promote social justice, “ he said.
Speaking Earlier Assistant Dean in the School of Humanities and Social Science Moses Chewe expressed happiness that the discussion was been held at the University of Zambia saying this will help in giving an in depth understanding of social protection in Zambia.
Mr Chewe urged students and members of the public should acquaint themselves with the rich research findings from the presentations so as in coming up with solutions affecting the country.
The public discussion was organized and sponsored by the International Labour Organization(ILO) in partnership with UNZA, Irish AID, CSPR and JCTR.