International Cooperation and Development

SoSuRe - protecting the most vulnerable in Malawi

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Background

Malawi has been classified as one of the least developed countries in the world, with 70% of the country's population living on less than US$ 1.90 per day. The rapid increase of population is exerting intense pressure on the country's land, food security, nutrition and social services. Malnutrition and HIV/AIDS remain primary concerns. Socio-economic and gender related inequalities are also high.

In addition, increasingly predictable shocks such as floods, droughts and plagues have repeatedly hit the country. Approximately 84% of Malawians rely on rain-fed agriculture and other natural resource-based livelihoods, meaning that these recurrent weather-induced shocks are affecting not only the development prospects of the country, but also risking the ability of thousands of Malawians to meet their basic food and nutrition needs.

About the project

Eradicating poverty, tackling discrimination and inequalities, and leaving no one behind are at the heart of EU development policy. As part of its strategy to combat inequality and support the most vulnerable, the EU supports efficient, sustainable and equitable social protection systems to guarantee basic income, prevent relapses into extreme poverty and build resilience.

Through SoSuRe (Social Support for Resilience), the EU is engaged in reducing poverty and enhancing resilience among the most vulnerable households in Malawi. SoSuRe provides funding for social cash transfers targeting ultrapoor households with very limited labour capacity. It also invests in strengthening national social protection systems in Malawi for enhanced support to social protection beneficiaries, sustainable financing of social protection services and more effective responses to shocks. Improvements of the social support system will help it deliver more effective shock responses, with social protection systems that can be expanded in response to crisis. For instance, by providing top-ups to social cash transfer beneficiaries affected by floods. This is complemented by additional support to social cash transfer beneficiary households with resilience interventions, helping the most vulnerable groups recover from crisis, facilitating the phasing out of humanitarian assistance and building long-term food and nutrition security.

Mary's story

Mary Lakesi

Mary Lakesi lives with her six grandchildren in Zomba district, in the South of Malawi. She is a beneficiary of the social cash transfers programme. Rose Gunde, her eldest granddaughter, would like to become a nurse. However, the nearest secondary school is more than 15 km away.

I saved a portion of the transfers to buy a bike for Rose. Thanks to the programme we also got a goat and good quality seeds. I am confident that we will do better now.
- Mary Lakesi, Social Cash Transfer Programme beneficiary
Mary's grand-daughter, Rose, riding her bike

SoSuRe impact

  • 65,000 beneficiary households (270,000 Malawians) receiving continued support through predictable cash transfer payments across 7 districts (out of 28).

  • 95% of households that receive transfer payments and can have at least two meals per day.

  • 5,000 social protection beneficiaries linked to complementary interventions (e.g. health, education, entrepreneurship, savings and insurance schemes).

  • 9,000 households involved in climate-smart agriculture activities, resulting in reforestation, biodiversity and soil conservation.

Mary Lakesi and her six grandchildren