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Building National Floors of Social Protection in Southern Africa

General Background

Malawi is one of the least developed countries in the world. In 2012 the United Nations’ Human Development Index, taking into account life expectancy, standard of living and education, ranked Malawi 174th out of 189 countries. Poverty in Malawi is both widespread and deep. In 2012, over half of the country’s population lived below the national annual consumption poverty line of 37 thousand Malawi Kwacha (ca. 84 USD). Malawi also has one of the fastest growing populations in Africa, which is projected to grow from 16 million in 2015 to 26 million in 2030 (National Statistical Office, 2014)


National Support Policy Programme 2012-2016 (NSSP) is meant to significantly improve coordination and reduce the fragmentation of social support programmes.

Various social protection schemes and programmes exist in Malawi, using a range of different mechanisms, and complemented by other programmes with a wider objective that also have a social protection dimension. While some of these programmes are embedded in long-term strategic plans, implemented nationwide and financed through the central government's consolidated budget, none are anchored in Law, and quite a few are of a short-term nature, or limited in geographical and individual coverage, and based on a volatile and insecure resource base. 

The NSSP prioritizes the following 5 Social Protection intervention for scale-up:

  1. Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCT);
  2. Village Savings and Loans Programmes (VSL);
  3. School Feeding Programmes (SFP);
  4. Public Works Programme (PWP);
  5. Provision of microcredit.
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