Malawi Social Cash Transfer Program

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About the Program

The Government of Malawi’s (GoM’s) 2016 Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCTP), locally known as the Mtukula Pakhomo, is an unconditional cash transfer program targeted to ultra-poor, labor-constrained households. The program began as a pilot in Mchinji district in 2006. Since 2009, the program has expanded to reach 18 out of 28 districts in Malawi. The program has experienced impressive growth beginning in 2012, and most notably over the last two years. By December 2015, the SCTP had reached over 163,000 beneficiary households.

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The SCTP is administered by the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare (MoGCDSW) with additional policy oversight provided by the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development (MoFEPD). UNICEF Malawi provides technical support and guidance. Funding for the program from 2007-2012 was largely provided by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund).

UNICEF’s Kusalo Kubwalo reports on a cash transfer programme reaching out to impoverished families in Malawi.

In 2011, the German Government (through Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, or KfW) and the GoM signed an agreement to provide substantial funding for paying arrears in existing areas.  In 2013, Irish Aid signed an agreement to expand into one new district, and in 2014, KfW and the European Union (EU) topped-up donor contributions to enable full coverage in the seven existing districts, as well as scale-up into eight additional districts. 

“I am very happy today, I have received MKW 2,200 and I am going to the market now to buy maize flour so that I can cook Nsima and some small fish. I will also use part of this money to buy pain killers for my legs. I am so happy for this programme, now my life is full of hope.”

- Malawi Social Cash Transfer Program

Dyson Sauzande

A beneficiary of the Mtukula Pakhomo

Source: UN.org

Also in 2014, GoM launched a “government-funded” district (Thyolo) and the World Bank committed to providing resources to expand into two additional districts. The SCTP was launched in these 11 newly funded districts starting in mid-2014 through early 2015. Bringing coverage to 18 districts.

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Program Overview

  • Program: UNICEF Malawi Social Cash Transfer
  • Strategy: Income & Economic Strengthening
  • Intervention: Cash transfers
  • Ranking: This intervention is categorized as PROMISING
  • Location: Malawi
  • Age Group: Early and late adolescence

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