By Aamon Butao
As Malawi observes the Social Protection Week, government says its social protection programmes have helped people living below the poverty line to make their ends meet.
Since Malawi attained independence in 1964, its leaders have flagged poverty eradication as their main campaign promise, however the subsequent interventions have been compromised by political innuendoes.
This is also contained in the recently released Afro Barometer survey, a pan African non-partisan research network.
The first democratically elected government under the then president Dr Bakili Muluzi put as top priority poverty alleviation program and adopted the poverty reduction strategy paper as his focus was to increase economic opportunities end hunger and promoting sustainable livelihoods.
This week’s commemoration of the Social Protection Programmes aims to assess the country’s social support programs which target he vulnerable groups including children.
The country has many programs that were introduced to support low income Malawians to improve their lives social as Cash Transfer, School Feeding program and labor intensive public works program among others.
The national social support policy is a medium term policy that has been formulated to contribute towards the reduction of poverty and vulnerability, in line with the Malawi Growth and development Strategy MGD2: Social support and disaster risk reduction.
The policy which was developed in 2012 was developed to provide a holistic framework for designing, implementing and coordinating social support interventions.
According to deputy director of social welfare responsible for cash transfer in the ministry of gender, community development and social welfare, Laurent Kansinjiro over 250,000 households have benefited from the program across the twenty-eight districts.
Each and every financial year the ministry disburses MWK 42 Billion to the beneficiaries of cash transfer program.