Friday, March 1, 2024

Community Development Minister urges Beneficiaries to Graduate from Free Food packs

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The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services has urged beneficiaries under the Food Security Pack (FSP) to stop resisting being weaned off from the programme when it’s time for them to graduate.

Chief Community Development Officer Nicholas Banda has said that Food Security Pack is designed to graduate beneficiaries after two years of being on the programme and are able to stand on their own.

Mr Banda said that beneficiaries should understand that once they have been supported and are able to stand on their own, they need to leave room for other vulnerable but viable members of communities to be supported and that the FSP programme can only take a limited number of beneficiaries depending on available resources and the spaces left by those that graduate.

Mr Banda said this during the monitoring of some Food Security Pack activities in selected districts of Northern Province where reports indicated that some beneficiaries resist graduating from the programme.

And Luwingu District Community Development Officer Serah Banda said that officers face a lot of resistance from beneficiaries when it’s time to wean them off from the programme.

Ms Banda said there is a need for increased sensitisation for FSP beneficiaries to understand the importance of graduating from the programme to allow more vulnerable but viable people to be supported.

And Acting Kasama District Community Development Officer Mutinta Himunza said even collecting recoveries becomes a serious challenge when beneficiaries know that they are graduating from the programme.

Ms Himunza said most beneficiaries don’t want to pay back when it is their final year to be on Food Security Pack (FSP).

He added that the public sector, on the other hand, will continue to play the role of providing the requisite infrastructure and a conducive business regulatory environment which is critical for the private sector to effectively contribute to national development.

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