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Malawi launches $40 cash transfer to cushion the poor

Malawi launches $40 cash transfer to cushion the poor

Malawi

<p><strong>Malawi launches emergency cash transfer programme targeting about 1 million people and small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, President Arthur Peter Mutharika said on Tuesday.</strong></p> <p>Eligible households will receive a 35,000 Malawi kwacha ($40) monthly payment, matching the country’s minimum wage, through mobile cash transfer starting in May, Mutharika said.</p> <p>“This will strengthen livelihoods,” Mutharika said in a nightly national address on state television, without specifying how long the programme would last.</p> <p>The low-income country, which so far seen has 36 positive cases of <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 and three deaths, has suffered from economic stagnation in recent years, leading to increasing unrest over falling living standards.</p> <p>The World Bank said last week it had approved a $37 million funding package to help Malawi respond to the coronavirus.</p> <p>But the opposition and human rights bodies had already criticized Mutharika’s handling of the outbreak, accusing him of putting partisan interests first.</p> <p>Malawi’s high court temporarily halted the government’s 21-day coronavirus lockdown pending a judicial review last week. More consultation was needed to prevent harm to the poorest and most vulnerable of society, the court said. </p> <p><strong>Agencies</strong></p>

This will strengthen livelihoods.

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