Malawi: New U.S.$ 57 Million Poverty Bailout Programme

Nkhotakota — Government will soon embark on a new US$ 57 million programme targeting country's ultra-poor with a goal of reducing poverty.

The Programme called Financial Access for Rural Markets Smallholders and Enterprises (FARMSE), targets Social Cash Transfer beneficiaries with the potential to graduate from poverty, by providing support through access to financial services and micro, small and medium enterprises appropriate to each social economic level of poverty.

Speaking during a stakeholders sensitization meeting in Nkhotakota on Friday, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Manuel Mang'anya said at the end of the programme, government expects ultra-poor households to graduate from poverty and be food secure.

He said a total of 432, 774 households from across the country would benefit from the programme saying in Nkhotakota, New Building Society (NBS) Bank and CUMO financial services would be involved during the implementation phase, which starts soon.

The Officer asked the district Council to be involved during the implementation exercise to ensure programme success.

"We ask the Council to participate in monitoring of the programme activities, support collaboration and guide in resolving issues raised by implementing partners" Mang'anya said.

Nkhotakota District Commissioner (DC), Medson Matchaya warned those who would be implementing the programme against abuse, saying only those who would qualify should be enrolled.

He said he was disturbed with reports that some ineligible people found their way into the Social Cash Transfer programme, observing that doing so is not good for the country.

FARMSE is a seven-year national-wide development programme financed by the government, International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD) and the private Sector at the tune of U$57, 700, 00 and runs up to 2025.

Government is already implementing a Social Protection programme popularly known as Mtukula Pakhomo with monthly cash transfers to the country's ultra-poor.

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