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Government Launches Six-Month Emergency Cash Transfer to Mitigate Price Shocks

The Zambian Government, through the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, has introduced a six-month emergency price shock Cash Transfer intervention. 

This initiative aims to alleviate the financial burden on vulnerable populations across the country, providing essential support during a period marked by heightened economic challenges.

Minister of Community Development and Social Services, Ms. Doreen Mwamba, revealed that the program, running concurrently with the traditional Social Cash Transfer initiative, will extend assistance to 254,581 households spanning all 10 provinces. 

The intervention, active from November 2023 to April 2024, strategically addresses a lean period characterized by seasonal fluctuations in food prices, equipping households to navigate sudden spikes in the cost of essential goods and services.

Encouraging prudent use of the allocated funds, Minister Mwamba emphasized that the Zambian Government recognizes the adverse impact of surging prices on vulnerable urban households, affecting their food security, nutrition, and overall well-being. 

The price shock intervention seeks to counteract negative socio-economic impacts that pose a threat to the progress made at both household and national levels, particularly in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Ms. Mwamba explained that Zambia, like many other nations, is grappling with global challenges such as rising fuel and energy costs driven by international market volatility. 

The emergency cash transfer, she reiterated, is a strategic response to these challenges, reflecting the government’s commitment to safeguarding vulnerable households during periods of economic turbulence.

The primary objective of the project is to enhance consumption among poor and vulnerable households affected by economic shocks, Ms. Mwamba highlighted. The expanded cash transfer program incorporates mechanisms specifically designed to address price shocks, aiming to improve food security, nutrition, and overall human development.

Ms. Mwamba affirmed the government’s determination to fortify the social protection system by incorporating responsive mechanisms tailored to counter price shocks.

The move is anticipated to enhance the overall effectiveness and efficiency of social safety nets, reinforcing the commitment to supporting vulnerable populations in the face of economic uncertainties.

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