The government says over 1 Million social cash transfer beneficiaries will be reached by the end of this year.
Community Development and Social Services Minister, Ms Doreen Mwamba has disclosed that the caseload is expected to reach a land mark of 1,027,000 by 31st December, 2022 in accordance with the social cash transfer guidelines
Speaking when she gave a Ministerial statement in Parliament today, Ms Mwamba explained that 646,882 beneficiaries accounts for female headed households,129,100 for households with persons with disabilities while 162,715 is for elderly persons.
The Minister further informed the house that chronically ill and those on palliative care accounts for 31,194, while 3,432 is for child headed households adding that payment of transfers has been predictable and regular as evidenced by payments which are up to date.
“Payments for the months of May and June are currently underway in every district and are expected to be concluded by this Friday, 1st July, 2022. This is important to ensure that household incomes are stable to assist beneficiaries in meeting their immediate needs, invest in assets and avoid negative coping strategies” she said.
She said government has since automated the payment system through the development of the Zambia integrated social protection information system (ZISPIS), which is a gateway for data management and electronic payment system to enhance administration, planning, coordination, transparency and accountability in the management of the social cash transfer programme.
The ZISPIS is also aimed at improving efficiency as well as to ensure real time tracking of resources in order to reach the intended vulnerable households and also provides users with timely, accurate, consistent, complete and relevant information for enhanced decision making.
“The ZISPIS has been piloted in Kitwe and Namwala districts to pay beneficiaries for the January/February and the March/April 2022 payment cycles. In addition, payment of transfers to beneficiaries in the other districts have been processed using the ZISPIS” Ms Mwamba further informed parliament.
Meanwhile, the Ministry has continued to implement the grievance management system, a mechanism that allows community members and other stakeholders channel their complaints relating to the social cash transfer programme and receive timely feedback.
And the Minister further informed Parliament that the Ministry has started the process of revamping the functional literacy programs which aim to improve the literacy levels among the beneficiaries.
The Minister therefore urged all members of Parliament to take time to familiarize themselves with the guidelines which are available in all district offices as well as sensitize their constituencies on the programme.