The number of beneficiaries under the Social Cash Transfer Scheme in Eastern Province is expected to increase from 67,323 in 2017 to 86, 896 in 2018.
Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare Emerine Kabashi says that this is to reduce the country’s poverty levels, which currently stand at 54.4 per cent.
Speaking during a live radio programme on Breeze FM this morning, Ms. Kabanshi further says that in 2017, government spent 28.9 million Kwacha on the social cash transfer scheme in Eastern Province and the amount will increase this year.
She revealed that her ministry is working at producing a single register of beneficiaries for all programmes under the ministry to ensure that one person does not benefit from more than one programme.
Ms. Kabanshi did not rule out a situation where some beneficiaries are benefiting from the social cash transfer scheme and the Food Security Pack.
She however, says that the Food Security Pack has worked so well that government has decided to increase the number of beneficiaries from 350 to 750 beneficiaries in each district in 2018.
And the minister indicated that payments for November and December 2017 under the Social Cash Transfer Scheme, which have delayed are currently being processed in Lusaka and will be paid out soon.
Meanwhile Ms. Kabanshi says that recovery of loans under the Village Bank programme have been successful with some districts in Eastern Province recording between 80 and 100 percent recoveries.
She says that women have so far proved to be reliable, such that there is no need to prosecute those that may be struggling to pay back.