IMPLEMENTATION of the second phase of the government-funded programme for reducing income poverty among the majority poor, Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) , is in the pipeline, the government said yesterday.
The Minister of State in the President's Office (Public Service Management and Good Governance), Mr George Mkuchika, told the National Assembly that work on TASAF's second phase was in the initial stages. Mr Mkuchika said the programme, which is projected to stretch for next five years, will be rolled out shortly after completion of the requisite formalities.
"The programme will target most of the villages that were left during the previous scheme," he said, in response to a question raised by the Kaliua MP, Ms Magdalena Sakaya (CUF). The lawmaker had asked when villages in Kaliua would benefit from the programme geared at easing economic hardship for the country's majority poor.
The programme focused on households beset by abject poverty is being conducted in 159 councils across the Mainland and the Isles. It intends to support children financially to attain better health and education services, compliment household incomes and promote economic projects. "It also supports infrastructure development for education and health sectors, to allow beneficiaries attain better services," the minister told parliamentarians.
The minister acknowledged that while the programme was implemented in 159 councils, not all villages in the country had been covered since its inception in 2013.
He explained that since its inauguration, about 70 per cent of the targeted population had benefited, citing inadequate funds as a drawback against covering all villages. As of this year, about 9,989 villages had been reached by an average of 30 per cent and the remaining 5,000 villages would be included in the subsequent programmes.
"Some seriously affected villages were not covered during the first three programmes. Tasaf expects to cover more villages during the third phase, " he explained.