How Social Protection Response for COVID-19 programme is changing the lives of vulnerable families
In light of the celebration of Women's Month and Mozambican Women’s Day, UNICEF Mozambique wishes to highlight the testimonies from female recipients of the social protection response to COVID-19 (PASD-PE COVID-19) in Milange.
In light of the celebration of Women's Month and Mozambican Women’s Day, UNICEF Mozambique wishes to highlight the testimonies from female recipients of the social protection response to COVID-19 (PASD-PE COVID-19) in Milange, jointly supported by UNICEF and WFP and financed by the Government of Canada, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and KfW Development Bank. The goal of the programme is to increase the resilience of the most vulnerable population in Mozambique, with a focus on children, women, and people with disabilities, through unconditional mobile cash transfers and behaviour change communication. Targeting women as the main recipients of cash transfers can empower them by means of influencing power dynamics in the household and in the communities, improving’s women self-worth, bargaining power, and increasing their independence for decision-making.
Milange, Zambezia - 52 years old Teresa Afonso has been a widow for over 15 years now and lives with her 5 children and 10 grandchildren.
Before COVID-19 arrived in her community, Teresa and her daughters made a living by selling food at the local market, but the business did not always provide enough for the family because the family is very large and the income from the business was not enough to feed everyone.
When COVID-19 came, the family's situation got worse, and they lost their business due to the circulation restrictions that lead to the reduction of clients.
When she learned that she was going to receive support from the Social Protection Response for COVID-19 programme (PASD-PE COVID-19), Teresa and her daughters had hopes that their lives would improve. With the money she received, she was able to buy food products such as corn, rice, and oil, some utensils such as bowls and pots, and she was also able to plant some products in her fields such as corn, cassava, and beans. They also bought school supplies for the children and were able to resume the business of selling food and have their daily source of livelihood.
“We are very grateful for the support we have received, without it we do not know how we would have survived so many difficulties,” said Teresa.
The social protection response to the COVID-19 programme in Mozambique is implemented by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Action (MGCAS), through its operational arm, the National Institute of Social Action (INAS) and financed by the Government of Canada, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and KfW Development Bank. The programme targets vulnerable households in urban and peri-urban areas, with the aim of supporting and strengthening the resilience of households in situations of poverty and vulnerabilities exposed to the effects of COVID-19, through mobile cash transfers. As part of the government response, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) are providing technical support to the government together with civil society organizations. This intervention is reaching about 77,000 beneficiaries in Zambezia province. In the district of Milange, the programme reached 8,645 beneficiaries with 9,000 meticais in total (paid in two instalments).