TANZANIA Social Action Fund(TASAF) plans, through Community Based Conditional Cash Transfers, to reach all people in the below poverty line bracket by December this year.
TASAF Executive Director, Mr Ladislaus Mwamanga said at the World Bank office in Dar es salaam over the weekend that the ambitious cash programme intends to enrol some 300,000 poor households by Monday.
Research and Poverty Alleviation (REPOA) Executive Director Prof Sammuel Wangwe said such initiatives are important on grounds that they help people who are too poor to participate in the growth process to be lifted up to a certain level where they can take part.
Before the Community Based Conditional Cash Transfer impact (CB-CCT) evaluation report was presented, Deputy Permanent Secretary (President's Office), Ms Suzan Mlawi said that as a government, they believe in social protection and are committed to improving social protection interventions.
She hailed the World Bank for providing technical and financial support for the implementation of the programme.
Ms Mlawi also recognized efforts made by former TASAF Executive Director Dr Servacius Likwelile, currently the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance.
She said the dissemination of the report output was taking place at a time as the massive roll-out of the productive social safety net is implemented and when the third phase of TASAF is underway in both mainland and Zanzibar.
She pointed out that the Development Vision 2025 recognises the importance of enabling the most marginalized groups and households to work for a better life and to sustain their livelihoods.
She said TASAF is among the important poverty reduction initiatives that have been undertaken to advance social protection agenda. The World Bank has supported this initiative since 2000.
She noted that TASAF is a proven intervention that simultaneously empowers the poor to determine their own priorities, plan responses to the challenges they face, mobilize their own resources and make the best use of external support.
The deputy permanent secretary added that through the community driven development approach, social services have been improved and the capacity of the local government authorities staff and the people at the grassroots enhanced.
She noted that community participation that was adopted during the implementation of Community Based Conditional Cash Transfer Programme has put ownership of the development process firmly in the hands of the poor.
She said that throughout the period TASAF has been operational, more than 14 million community sub projects worth more than 551bn/- were supported.
As a result today, more than 12 million people have access to improved health services,1.7 million have access to safe drinking water, and 3.6 million people have improved roads.
She said that in the same period, more than 1,570 public works sub projects have been supported, which generated 16 million person days of temporary work among the targeted food insecure households.
In the same period, some 1,800 voluntary savings groups have been formed with a total of 22,712 individual savers in the targeted 46 local government authorities.
She said that in the cash transfer project, some 28,000 individuals benefitted from the 4bn/- transferred in a period of three years.
Senior Economist at World Bank, Mr David Evans said that generally, the Community Based Conditional Cash Transfer programme had led to improved outcomes in both health and education, with some households having used the resources to invest in livestock, in children's shoes, in insurance and increased savings for the poorest households.