Posted by: africanpressorganization | 7 April 2009

Government of Lesotho to pay social cash grants for orphans and vulnerable children



Government of Lesotho to pay social cash grants for orphans and vulnerable children


MASERU, Lesotho, April 7, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Government of Lesotho, with financial assistance from the European Commission (EC) and in collaboration with UNICEF, is planning to roll-out a groundbreaking programme to provide poor households caring for orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC), as well as child headed households, with a quarterly payment of Maloti 360 (about US$ 38). The initiative has been trademarked as The Lesotho Child Grants Programme (CGP).


In a country grieved by high HIV, high unemployment and high poverty levels, OVC are the most vulnerable cluster of the population. The principal aim of the programme is to decrease chronic or shock-induced poverty of households with OVC by supplementing their income and promoting investment in children’s survival, development and protection.


The Child Grants Programme is part of a larger package of child services that the Government believes will make a real difference to the lives of its youngest citizens, especially those who are orphaned and vulnerable. Children are key to breaking the cycle of poverty that engulfs more than half of the country’s inhabitants and the programme is expected to contribute to prevent transmission of poverty from one generation to the next.


Approximately 5,000 OVC living in 1,250 poor households are expected to be reached in the first three pilot areas of the CGP. The first community that will benefit from the Child Grants is the Mathula community council, in the Mafeteng district, on 22 April 2009. Communities from the Community Councils of Semonkong (Maseru district) and Thaba Khubelu (Qacha’s Nek district) will be the next pilot areas. The programme will then be phased gradually across districts to reach as many OVC as possible.


On 08 April 2009, the Director Social Welfare, together with representatives from EC and UNICEF in Lesotho will hold a press conference to brief the media on the upcoming programme and particulars of the first disbursement planned on 22 April 2009. The venue will be at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare building, at 10:00 AM in the Department of Social Welfare’s boardroom, ground floor. All media houses are invited to attend.


SOURCE : United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)


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