Findings by the Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) have shown that many Malawians are still living under immense poverty, despite the government has been implementing a number of safety net programs.
The study shows that despite programs such as the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp), Social Cash Transfers and others, the proportion of the population living below the national poverty line was 52.4% in 2004, 50.7% in 2010 and 51.5% in 2016.
While the study’s findings are enlightening, A research project titled Social Cash Transfers Program (SCTP) may have hinted at why the programs are not as impactful; the project observed that the targeting of beneficiaries to the program is based on false assumptions about households. According to the study, household targeting is poorly understood and implemented at the community level and often appears random.
The study also reveals that small nuclear households are often closely connected through kinship and material ties to other, sometimes more prosperous, households located very nearby and that children may be moved between them to capture grants. Meanwhile, households categorized as Ultrapoor are benefiting from the SCTP also known as Mtukula Pakhomo, which is aimed at reducing poverty and hunger, and to increase school enrollment. Generational Relations and Youth Poverty Trajectories were conducted in rural regions of Lesotho and Malawi.