By HOPE BWALYA -
GOVERNMENT has said it intends by the end of this year to capture about 80,000 people in Luapula Province on its Social Cash Transfer scheme (SCT).
Community Development and Social Services Minister Emerine Kabanshi said Government was targeting this number because of the high levels of poverty that were observed in the province.
“The highest number of beneficiaries this year, we will get from Luapula Province because the poverty levels there are high, so we are looking at areas with the highest number of vulnerable people,” she said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday.
Last year, about 37,000 people in the province benefited from the scheme.
Ms Kabanshi said Government was this year looking at a programme that would deal with urban poverty, to be implemented first in Lusaka and Copperbelt Provinces before be in rolled out to other provinces.
Ms Kabanshi said the decision to come up with such a programme was based on the recognition that urban areas suffered from a ‘different form of poverty’ from those in rural areas.
She said rural areas needed products and services, while the urban areas needed incentives which would empower residents to better their lives.
Ms Kabanshi said the purpose of the cash transfer programme was to empower the people and not to provide them with charity as this would defeat the main objective.
She said the programmes were also meant to strengthen homes, family ties and enhance communities as they would encourage creativity and innovation.