One of the outstanding measures the Minister is introducing involves dishing out ZWL$200 million in “Cash transfers” to 1 million vulnerable families.
The government says it plans to disburse ZWL$200 million per month for 3 months. The cash transfers are meant to lesson the blow the coronavirus pandemic has had on 1 million families’ finances. The statement announcing the measure by Mthuli Ncube read:
Vulnerable groups in our society are the most exposed under this Covid-19 crisis.
Accordingly, Treasury has set aside resources to cover one million vulnerable households under a cash transfer programme and payment will commence immediately.
Treasury will initially be availing an amount of $200 million per month under a cash transfer programme over the next three months and both the amount and duration of payments will be reviewed as necessary.
The Social Welfare Department will use its usual mechanisms to identify the beneficiaries.
The Finance Minister didn’t state when and how the money will be disbursed. What’s crystal clear at the moment is the commitment of giving out a total ZWL$600 million over 3 months.
As for each vulnerable family, government will give them ZWL$200 per month for 3 months. In other words, the 1 million vulnerable families will be given ZWL$600 in total (ZWL$200 per month) over the course of 3 months.
Its also unclear how the Social Welfare Department services will define a family that is considered “vulnerable”.
What is ZWL$200?
Lets make sense of ZWL$200. ZWL$200 translates to just US$8 on the interbank market whereas on the black market its just US$5. If you head to Zimpricecheck, you can see just how little you can buy with ZWL$200 or US$8.
In all honesty, ZWL$200 is not a lot of money that can provide all the needs for a family. But then again, the money is for families that are poor such that ZWL$200 may, relatively speaking, improve their livelihood for that month. Actually, ZWL$200 is better than nothing so I applaud the government for the effort.
Zimbabwe is not the only country that has taken this course of helping out vulnerable citizens to cope with economic woes that came with the coronavirus pandemic. America is giving out US$1 200 to its citizens whilst Rwanda is delivering food on citizens’ doorsteps.
What do you think of Zimbabwe government’s effort during the Covid-19 crisis? Let us know by commenting below.
Feature Image credit: Bloomberg