The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, through the Government, has introduced the Urban Price Shock Emergency Cash Transfer to alleviate economic challenges faced by vulnerable communities. The initiative aims to provide additional support to beneficiaries grappling with rising living costs, compounded by external factors affecting the country’s economy.
During the launch in Kabwe District, Ms. Doreen Mwamba, the Minister of Community Development and Social Services, emphasized the Government’s commitment to addressing economic hardships faced by citizens. Beneficiaries of the program will receive a monthly top-up of K200 for a duration of six months, in addition to their regular Social Cash Transfer (SCT) amount.
Ms. Mwamba acknowledged the surge in prices for essential goods, which has placed financial strain on many citizens. She highlighted the urgency for decisive action, stating, “This launch demonstrates the Government’s firm commitment towards uplifting the welfare of our communities.”
Addressing the public health situation, Ms. Mwamba urged members of the public to adhere to public health measures aimed at combating the spread of the cholera pandemic, emphasizing the need for collective responsibility in overcoming health challenges.
Mr. Benson Pensulo, speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, expressed gratitude to the Government for the intervention, emphasizing its significant impact on purchasing essential household items.
The Price Shock Cash Transfer intervention among Social Cash Transfer beneficiary households aims to assist in combating the rising cost of living among vulnerable people in society.
According to Linda Hagwanama, Information Management Officer at the Ministry, the program targets 254,581 households in 17 urban districts. She explained that the intervention, spanning from November 2023 to April 2024, is crucial during a period deemed most critical before people begin to harvest their crops.
During a courtesy call at the Lusaka District Commissioner’s office, Ms. Hagwanama clarified that the program is designed to ease the lives of community members facing the challenge of high prices for basic commodities like mealie meal. Lusaka alone has 27,171 beneficiaries.
Lusaka District Commissioner Rosa Zulu emphasized the importance of children supporting their parents, particularly those enrolled in government social protection interventions. Ms. Zulu noted that while the government’s assistance is valuable, it is not sufficient to meet all the needs of the beneficiaries, emphasizing the need for families to utilize economic empowerment programs for additional income.