Addressing the nation on Tuesday evening, Mutharika said the program was “an extended cash transfer facility to support Malawians who depend on the markets for their survival”.
He said the Malawi Government was targeting a minimum of 172,000 households in the areas, which is an estimated 35 percent of the urban population.
“Considering family size of around 5 people based on the 2018 Household Census, this will translate to just under a million people who will be reached with this measure.
“The program will be implemented for a period of six months translating into 3 months of response and 3 months of recovery. Each identified household will be paid electronically through mobile payments K35,000 per monthand the amount is based on the prevailing Government minimum wage rate,” he said.
He said the implementation of the program was beginning the month of May 2020.
“In addition to Emergency Cash Transfers in the peri-urban areas, my Government will also provide cash top-up to existing beneficiaries of Mtukula Pakhomo Program in all the 28 Districts.
“This will strengthen livelihood interventions aimed at minimizing negative coping mechanisms for the poor. Details on implementation of these interventions will be announced shortly,” he added.
Since Malawi reported its first COVID-19 case, Government has initiated a number of measures aimed at cushioning the impact of the global pandemic.
The measures include reduction of fuel prices; banks giving moratorium to loan repayments and restructuring loan facilities of their clients; waiving fees and charges on electronic payments among others.