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Zimbabwe Rolling Out US$45 Million Social Fund For Poor Households

  • Gibbs Dube

Relief worker Faith Ncube said the program is well-intended but it does not meet basic needs of the poor in a country where the official estimate of what it takes to meet the basic needs of a family of six is US$538

More than 80,000 child-headed families and poor households in Zimbabwe have registered for a government program that will give some households up to US$25 a month to purchase basic necessities.

Social Welfare Minister Paurina Gwanyanya Mpariwa said Tuesday that the US$45 million program bolstered by donor funds will be rolled out next month.

Mpariwa said households with one person will get US$10 a month while a family with more than two people will receive US$25 a month for food, health and education.

Mpariwa said the benefits of the program were identified in a pilot project run from last November until early this year.

But relief worker Faith Ncube said that although the program is well-intended it does not meet basic needs of the poor in a country where the official estimate of what it takes to meet the basic needs of a family of six is some US$538.

“I think it will be still difficult for these families to make ends meet as these amounts are too insignificant,” Ncube said.

On the other hand, Zimbabwe's lowest-paid state workers only earn about US$250 a month - the main reason why civil servants this week launched a five-day strike.

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