Speaking during the launching of PSSN II project in Dar es Salaam on Monday, Preeti Arora, WB Operations Manager said that since its commencement in 2000, the project has contributed much to the reduction of poverty in Tanzania.
She said that the programme is having strong effect in gender empowerment with over 80 percent of cash transfer beneficiaries being women.
Arora noted that the Tanzania’s earlier social safety net programme helped beneficiaries to save more money and obtain more assets. As a result, many had more food and access to better education and health care. More than 11000 saving groups have been formed benefiting over 150,000 beneficiaries.
“World Bank has been supporting the productive social safety nets program since its very beginning, we are indeed very pleased to be here to see it enter into a new and more determined scale-up phase and we are hopeful that the positive impacts of the earlier phase will not only be fully consolidated but will be built upon to accelerate poverty reduction in Tanzania,” she said.
Arora noted that the programme has been very successful at reaching the poorest of the poor in Tanzania.
She said that households receiving cash transfers experienced an additional 10 percent reduction in poverty, accompanied by a 20 percent boost in monthly consumption.
“A recent joint study carried out by the National Bureau of Statistics and the World Bank found that if TASAF had not been there, the rate of poverty in Tanzania would be at least 2 percentage points higher. To put it differently, Tanzania would have one million more poor individuals if it were not for TASAF’s programme,” she said.
She added that; “Over 60 percent of beneficiaries belong to the bottom 20 percent of the population in terms of consumption; and over 80 percent of beneficiaries belong to the bottom 40 percent. These results put the programme among the best targeted interventions in the world, even when compared with the more mature programmes in Latin America.”
She said that the programme is contributing to the development of human capital among poor families. Improvements have been observed on children’s school enrollment and literacy, attendance of regular maternal and child health services by mothers, health insurance registration, food security, and assets accumulation.
Recently, the World Bank through its international Development Association (IDA) dished out a concessional loan amounting to $450 million (approximately to 1.035 trillion) to support the implementation of TASAF’s PSSN II proramme in the country.
For his part, Swedish ambassador in Tanzania Anders Sjöberg expressed dedication that his government will continue supporting Tanzania in the implementation of the PSSN II.
“We are so much impressed and we are now looking to further extend our support in the next four years, our pleasure is see poverty index drops in Tanzanian and thus attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) number one of ending poverty…Swedish government has supported Tanzania in the PSSN I with $78 million,” he said.
According to him, Swedish government through international development agency (SIDA) has been supporting Tasaf since 2015 and it will continue extending its support for the country's welfare.