The Jesuit centre for theological reflection (JCTR) has welcomed government’s move to launch the COVID-19 Emergency Social Cash transfer in form of cash and food packs.

According to a press statement made available to Lusaka star, JCTR Executive Director Alex Muyebe said that the intervention is aimed at cushioning the negative economic effects the pandemic has particularly brought on vulnerable households.

“One notable negative effect of the pandemic is the disruption of livelihoods, therefore, timely, responsive, effective and efficient social protection systems remain crucial for safeguarding the poor and vulnerable in Zambia,” Mr. Muyebe said.

Mr. Muyebe further added that the intervention is likely to have a positive effect on nutrition amongst other positive effects for those that will receive the assistance.

However, he urged government to extend such interventions to a wider population as some households that were well off prior to the pandemic may have fallen into the poverty trap and in need of government’s assistance.

JCTR also cautioned authorities responsible for the emergency support programme to ensure the cash transfer and food pack benefits the targeted beneficiaries.

Proper accountability and transparency is needed to ensure that the resources are not mismanaged,

Mr Muyebe said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Community Development stated that a transfer value of k400 per month shall be given to beneficiaries who are already in the database for the period of six months.

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