COMSIP Cooperative Union scales up socio-economic livelihood support from 14 to all 28 districts

* Its specifically aimed at instilling the culture of saving and investment

* Increasing household incomes and productive assets through diversified IGAs (investments)

* Improving the status of nutrition and health of household beneficiaries

* Improving women and youth economic empowerment and financial inclusion

By Duncan Mlanjira

With blessings from funders, the World Bank, COMSIP Cooperative Union Limited has scaled up its livelihood support sub-component of the 5-year Malawi Government project — the Social Support for Resilient Livelihoods Project (SSRLP).

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The Livelihood Support Program is one of the SSRLP core sub-components under Improving Social and Economic Inclusion, which provides an economic inclusion package to Social Cash Transfer Program (SCTP) and Climate Smart Public Works Program (CSPWP) households in all districts supported by the MSSRLP.

At a press conference last Friday on the sidelines of the project’s workshop organised for District Commissioners (DCs) from the Southern Region, COMSIP Cooperative Union Chief Executive Officer, Tenneson Gondwe said following the scaling up,  the target is to reach out to 435,000 households who will be undertaking Climate Smart Public Works and Livelihood activities.

COMSIP Cooperative Union CEO, Tenneson Gondwe

Thus the need to orient the DCs from the respective districts where the CSPWP will be implemented, whose initial project targeted 70,000 beneficiaries in the 14 districts.

In the presentation done by COMSIP’s officer, Emmanuel Muwamba, the DCs were appraised that the Livelihood Support is built on the successes of past interventions in MASAF 4 and the initial beneficiaries were Chitipa, Balaka and Phalombe (CSPWP only), Karonga, Rumphi, Nkhatabay, Nkhotakota, Kasungu, Dowa, Ntchisi, Lilongwe, Dedza, Chiladzulu and Blantyre (SCT and CSPWP).

The total livelihood sub-component cost was US$20 million and with the scaling up, the sub-component has risen to US$33 million.

Muwamba said the objectives of the livelihood support include building the capacity of SCTP and CSPWP beneficiary households by instilling in them the culture of saving and investment which will enhance their income earning capacity and cushion them in times of shocks.

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Its specifically aimed at:

* Instilling the culture of saving and investment;

* Increasing household incomes and productive assets through diversified IGAs (investments);

* Improving the status of nutrition and health of household beneficiaries;

* Improving women and youth economic empowerment and financial inclusion;

* Increasing awareness on DRM, prevention and mitigation; and

* Environmental protection/safeguards.

Emmanuel Muwamba making the presentation for the DCs


To participate in livelihoods activities, Muwamba appraised the DCs that beneficiaries are to present their willingness to join a group and follow group constitution; willingness to save money from the transfers and wages received; willingness to work in a group; willingness to attend meetings and participate in trainings and ability to start a business and operate it using the training skills provided.

In the project, 1,040 of the beneficiary households are being targeted to be graduated out of poverty through asset transfers, where they will be supported with $300 for business.

The livelihood support sub-component aims at building the capacity of SCTP and CSPWP beneficiary households, with emphasis on women and youth by instilling in them the culture of savings and investment, which helps beneficiary households to grow savings that eventually cushion them in times of shocks.

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