By ANNIE ZULU
|GOVERNMENT remains resolute to reducing poverty and vulnerability among its citizens, especially women, Finance Minister Felix Mutati has said.|
During his budgetary speech, Mr Mutati said Government would continue to implement policies, programmes and initiatives aimed at protecting and empowering vulnerable people.
Mr Mutati mentioned the Women’s Development Programme as one of the empowerment programmes Government was implementing.
The minister reiterated that the programme was aimed at enhancing access to productive resources and entrepreneurship skills for poor and vulnerable women.
“Under this programme, about 30,000 women will be empowered with productive grants and micro credit countrywide in 2018.
“In addition, Government with support from the World Bank is targeting to provide educational support to 16, 000 from extremely poor households in 16 districts and a further 75, 000 women with grants in 51 districts,” Mr Mutati said.
He also noted that Government had scaled up the Social Cash Transfer in 2017, by increasing coverage and monthly payments to each beneficiary household.
Mr Mutati said the number of beneficiary households were increased from 242, 000 in 2016 to 590, 000 beneficiary households in 2017.
He disclosed that the number of Social Cash Transfer beneficiaries would be further increased to 700, 000.
“Government will also fully migrate to an electronic social cash transfer platform. In 2018, Government will increase support under this programme to 200, 000 from the 134,000 targeted beneficiaries this year.
“This will enable vulnerable people to have access to education and healthcare,” Mr Mutati said.