World Bank hints at public works wages increment

World Bank, key financier for the social cash transfer and public works programs, has hinted at an increment on public works wages following concerns that participants of the programs have been raising.

World Bank Program Leader for Human Development, Dr Aneesa Arur, gave the green light on Monday when she visited Nanjili Micro-financing catchment in Traditional Authority (TA) Amidu in Balaka district to appreciate the impact of the social cash transfer and public works programs on people’s lives.

She said World Bank is aware of the concerns that participants of the programs have been raising and that negotiations with the Malawi government on the same are at advanced stage.

“We, absolutely, recognise the issues raised by everyone during the meetings and we’ve taken it on board; the discussions have been held at technical level and we expect an increase to happen; we’re very supportive of that,” said the World Bank Program Leader.

She described Malawi as a “very important partner” in the Bank’s works, and that issues around climate shocks and economic shocks are really critical to the Bank’s partnership with the government of Malawi.

Arur: Happy with program’s impact on the people’s livelihoods Pic. By kondwani Magombo _ Mana

Dr Arur also commended the impact of climate smart agriculture, social cash transfer, and village savings and loans interventions on the livelihoods of the participants, and pledged continued support of the programs.

“We’re extremely committed to continuing to support the government of Malawi and the vulnerable people in Malawi by protecting them, building their resilience and human capital,” she said.

Director of Social Protection and Poverty Reduction in the Ministry of Finance, Kate Langwe, said Malawi government, too, is aware that the wages that the people are getting through the climate smart enhanced public works program are low.

She said the cash transfer program was revised and that recommendations were made at technical level for wages for climate smart public works to be revised upwards, too.

“Currently, we’re waiting for higher steering committee to meet and take into consideration the recommendations made by the technical committee,” said Langwe, adding: “We hope that by the end of the month, we will have the revised wages approved and ready to be implemented.”

However, Langwe could not disclose the recommended figure for the wages saying there are a number of figures that were proposed by the technical committee.

Currently, the participants for climate smart enhanced public works program work for 24 days in two months and their wages are MK1,200 per day, thus carting home MK28,800 at the end of the working period.

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