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Govt reaffirms commitment to war on poverty

25th April 2012
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Chief Secretary Ombeni Sefue opens an international meeting on community practice of cash transfers and conditional cash transfers during a face-to-face forum in Bagamoyo, Coast Region, yesterday.

The government yesterday said it was committed to ensuring its people were better saved and empowered to counter negative effects of poverty especially for most vulnerable households.

Chief Secretary Ambassador Ombeni Sefue made the remarks in his opening speech during a face-to-face forum of community of practice of cash transfers and conditional cash transfers, which commenced in Bagamoyo yesterday.

The face-to-face forum is hosted by Tanzania Social Action Fund (Tasaf).

He said historically extended family in Africa always provided a system of social protection but to date it was overwhelmed and no longer was relied upon to provide social protection in the wake of HIV/Aids and changing economic and social environment.

Ambassador Sefue said the government, however, recognised the need for developing a national social protection framework intended to address issued pertaining to social protection in a more organised and coordinated manner by involving as many stakeholders as possible.

“Among the most important initiatives that have been undertaken to address social protection challenges is the establishment of Tasaf with support from the World Bank,” Ambassador Sefue said.

Ambassador Sefue said through Tasaf poor people were empowered to determine own priorities to plan their response to challenges they faced, mobilise their own resources and make best use of external support.

He further said government policies such as the Development Vision 2025 recognised the importance of enabling marginalised groups and households to work for better life and stand on their own feet.

Ambassador Sefue noted that even government medium and short-term plans such as the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty II and the five-year Development Plan (2010-2015) had also focused on empowering the marginalised groups and households. He further said throughout the period that Tasaf had been operational over 5,632 community sub-projects worth over 300bn/- were supported as a result, 7.6 million people had access to improved social services.

He said 1778 voluntary saving groups had been formed with 21,712 individuals in the targeted 46 local government authorities. Some groups have invested in other income generating sub-projects such as rice production, vegetable growing and poultry keeping, among others.

For his part Tasaf Executive Director Ladislaus Mwamanga said through the forum Tanzania would learn from others on how best to design and manage conditional cash transfers and other cash transfer programmes.

“The face-to-face forum will comprise a mix of plenary events, breakout sessions and field trips to six Tasaf supported villages implementing a pilot in Bagamoyo and Kibaha districts councils in Coast Region,” he said.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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