20 February 2013

Tanzania: TASAF On Sh400 Billion Anti-Poverty Drive

SOME of the country's poorest families will be targeted in the Third Phase of World Bank funded Tanzania Social Action Trust Fund (TASAF) covering the next ten years starting 2012.

TASAF Executive Director Ladislaus Mwamanga said in Dar es Salaam on Monday that local authority leaders including councillors and village executive officers will be used to identify the beneficiaries of over 400bn/-.

"The third phase targets the poorest people in our communities in all districts of the Mainland and Zanzibar," said Mr Mwamanga while officiating at a training workshop of local authority leaders in Bagamoyo district which has been picked as one of the three districts that will first undertake the project.

He said in implementing TASAF's Third Phase, his management will avoid mistakes learnt during the past two phases hence delivering at full capacity. "For example one of the issues that we have learnt is that we need some coordination at regional level instead of only at district level," said Mwamanga.

World Bank has provided a 300bn/- grant to support the project which will focus on health and education. Other donors supporting the initiative include Britain 24bn/-, Spain 9bn/- and The United States 1.4bn/- while the government will contribute 45bn/-.

Coast Regional Administrative Secretary, Beata Swai warned grassroots leaders against discriminating beneficiaries of the project saying it should cover every poor person in the targeted areas. "Poverty does not have political affiliation, religion or race, under this project we are targeting poverty so everyone qualifying should be given access," Ms Swai argued.

She pointed out that education and health are crucial in the fight against poverty which is haunting many people in rural areas hence urged leaders to ensure that such vital services are improved under TASAF III.

Launching the third phase of the project last August, President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete warned dishonest public officials against embezzling funds meant for communities while challenging the public to unearth such leaders.

"We should be watchful against dishonest public officials," President Kikwete said while paying tribute to the international community for supporting the project unconditionally which was a clear departure from the past.

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