The government with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has set aside more than 22 million Kwacha to cushion the impact of COVID- 19 in Mpika and Nakonde Districts in Muchinga Province.
This is under the COVID- 19 Emergency Transfer programme which will see more than Thirteen Thousand beneficiaries for both districts being paid for Six months.
This came to light when a team of officers from Ministry of Community Development and Social Services led by Joyce Kachila paid a courtesy call on Mpika District Commissioner Sampa Muswema.
Ms. Kachila disclosed that Three Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy Two(3872) beneficiaries in Mpika and over Five Thousand beneficiaries in Nakonde Districts are set to benefit from these funds.
She explained that the funds are meant for the two districts in Muchinga province as they were hot spots for Covid 19 and most hit by the pandemic in the province.
“Mpika District and Nakonde were picked to benefit from the Covid 19 Emergency Transfer due to the negative impact being experienced in the districts as a result of Covid 19.” said Ms. Kachila
She explained that the COVID-19 pandemic is being felt in all sectors of the economy with businesses shrinking due to low demand and stiff supply conditions.
Meanwhile, Mpika District Commissioner Sampa Muswema is elated that Mpika has been selected to benefit from these funds.
Mr. Muswema added that, being a transit town whose dependency is mostly on goods from border towns, most people in the district could not do business due to lock downs which impacted on their lives negatively.
“COVID- 19 has impacted negatively on our communities at household level, it has impacted on health care leading to poor nutrition and so on.” said Mr. Muswema
The District Commissioner added that he will ensure that those already on the Social Cash Transfer program benefit from these funds.
And Mpika District Social Welfare Officer, Amedius Mwango says that funds will be paid using Mobile Network Providers such as Airtel and MTN, adding that each beneficiary will receive Four Hundred Kwacha (K400) per month for Six Months.
Mr. Mwango further said that beneficiaries will not incur any withdraw charges and sensitisation on how this money will be paid to beneficiaries has already started.