Network urges parley to finalize review, adoption of Social Protection Policy

Network urges parley to finalize review, adoption of Social Protection Policy
Network urges parley to finalize review, adoption of Social Protection Policy

Africa-Press – Malawi. The Civil Society Social Protection Network (CSSN) has urged the Malawi Government to finalize the review and adoption of the Social Protection Policy in the current sitting of Parliament.

The network says the policy will contribute to and provide a clear framework for a comprehensive social protection system providing coverage across the life cycle.

In a statement read to journalists in Lilongwe on Thursday, the network’s executive member, Enock Chinkhuntha, also called for the revision of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) guidelines to allow for a minimum of 10 percent allocation towards secondary school bursaries.

Chinkhuntha said this would enable the fund to meet the increasing demand for support towards tuition fees payment.

“We also urge the government to lobby with development partners for the continued progressive revision of the amounts given under the Social Cash Transfer from the current review of MK19, 000 to at least MK50, 000 in line with the cost of living adjustment. The Basic Needs Basket surveys conducted by the Centre for Social Concern (CfSC) indicates that rising food and non-food prices have pushed up the cost of living, throwing more people into the poverty trap. In its Basic Needs Basket, CfSC figures show that the cost of living has jumped by 91 percent for a family of six from K164 316 in July 2020 to K314, 914 in January 2021,” he said.

In his remarks, the network national chairperson, Robert Mkwezalamba, asked the government to bridge the gap of the other social protection programs, citing the Urban Social Cash Transfer, recommending that the government should take over the project after three months when the donors cease to fund the project.

Mkwezalamba said this would be an indication of ownership for social protection programs in Malawi.

He also recommended the involvement of civil society organizations and other key stakeholders in monitoring project implementation of the social protection programs such as urban social cash transfer is key to successful implementation of the projects.

“We are also calling upon the private sector to be involved in the social protection programs not just like a Corporate Social Responsibility project which is a one off event but rather embedded in their programming and operations. The private sector should design programs that can constantly support social protection programs.

“And in a bid not to create a dependent nation, we implore the government to ensure that the fast tracked AIP and social Cash transfers must accommodate matters of progression where the supporters must be helped in building capacity towards independence and sustainability of their programmes so as to reach out to others in need while graduating those empowered,” he said.

Meanwhile, the network has called upon beneficiaries of various social support programs, to seriously safeguard the resources by being responsible and use them to uplift their livelihood and aim at graduating to a self-sustaining life in the near future.

On those entrusted with the responsibility of being custodians of the programs, the network cautioned them against engaging themselves in corruption, politicizing, nepotism and theft when discharging their duties.

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