A total of 12,500 households in four districts of Zambia will benefit from the 1000 Days Social Cash Transfer (SCT) Nutrition Cash Plus pilot program government is implementing.
This came to light when a team from National Food and Nutrition Commission of Zambia, Ministry of Community Development and Social Services (MCDSS), Ministry of Health, UNICEF, Save the Children and Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) paid a courtesy call on Acting Kalabo District Commissioner Siyupwa Kabisa during the 1000 Days SCT Nutrition Cash Plus inception mission.
Team leader Morris Moono said the three year program was being implemented in Kalabo in Western province, Chipata in Eastern province, Mpika in Muchinga province and Mwinilunga in North Western province.
Mr Moono who is also MCDSS Chief Social Welfare Officer said government was implementing the program because the Social Cash Transfer program on its own was not sufficient hence the need to link it to other interventions such as nutrition.
He said the main objective of the 1000 Days SCT Nutrition Cash plus was to increase the intake of meals among vulnerable households falling within the 1000 Most Critical Days Program (MCDP) being implemented by Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) in a bid to reduce stunting in the country whose current level stands at 35 percent.
He disclosed that the 1000 Days SCT Nutrition Cash Plus beneficiaries comprise of pregnant and lactating mothers, adolescent girls between 10–19 years of age and children under between 0–23 months old.
The team is in Kalabo district to orient the District Development Coordinating Committee (DDCC), Ward Nutrition Coordinating Committees (WNCCs) and other stakeholders on the 1000 Days SCT Nutrition Cash Plus program.
Meanwhile, Acting Kalabo District Commissioner Siyupwa Kabisa thanked government and its cooperating partners for implementing the 1000 Days SCT Nutrition Cash plus program adding that the United Party for National Development (UPND) manifesto has adequately envisioned for good nutrition
Mr Kabisa observed that the program was aimed at addressing malnutrition especially among vulnerable households whose adverse effects he said cannot be reversed especially among children below two years of age.
He said the program has potential to better the outlook of Kalabo district whose poverty level stands at 80 percent while stunting stands at 29.1 percent.
He said the 1000 Days SCT Nutrition Cash plus program was in line with the World Health Assembly 2030 ambitious nutrition vision which seeks to reduce stunting to less than 20 percent by the year 2030.
And speaking during orientation of Kalabo DDCC, MCDSS Nutrition Sensitive Social Protection Consultant Mwaka Mukwiza said the 1000 Days SCT Nutrition Cash plus beneficiaries already enrolled onto the Social Cash Transfer program would receive bimonthly payments of K150 while those not enrolled on the program would be receiving an additional K300 in order to improve their nutrition.
The Social Cash Transfer 1000 Days Nutrition Cash Plus program is one of the components of Zambia’s social protection interventions through which bimonthly grants are given to vulnerable households who meet the required benchmarks in a bid to improve the nutritional intake among Zambians in a bid to reduce stunting through improved nutrition.