Emergency Cash Transfer


Government through the Department of Social Welfare has been able to respond to a number of emergency through the implementation of a number of social protection interventions such as the Emergency Cash Transfer –Draught Response and Covid-19 Emergency Cash Transfer, targeting the extreme poor and vulnerable households, to improve their welfare and livelihoods during such times.

The Government of the Republic of Zambia with support from cooperating partners consider integrated social protection as a key strategy to respond to different types of emergencies.


In 2019 the Department of Social Welfare implemented Emergency Cash Transfers (ECT) Draught response Due to low rainfall experienced in the country during the 2019/2020 farming season. The Department of Social Welfare supported twenty three (23) Districts namely Mwandi, Sesheke, Shangombo, Sioma, Chibombo, Chisamba, Kapiri, Ngambwe, Luano, Serenje, Mumba, Mambwe, Nyimba, Lunga, Chongwe, Rufunsa, Gwembe, Luangwa, Itezhi Tezhi, Chirundu, Siavonga, Sinazongwe and Chasefu with Emergency cash transfers payments which saw a total of 95,000 vulnerable households benefiting from the ECT programme.


Zambia is one of the countries which has been grappling with ravaging effects of the COVID -19 pandemic. In 2020 On 28th July, the Covid-19 Emergency Cash Transfer (C-ECT) programme was launched in Lusaka by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services supported by 4 UN agencies (ILO, UNDP, UNICEF, WFP), the World Bank and multiple NGOs Red Cross, Child Fund, Plan International.

The effects of the pandemic were damaging on the economy and social sectors such that Zambia recorded Negative economic growth in 2020 making it difficult for the country to generate adequate revenue to fund social protection. This led to increased vulnerability to shock and increased poverty levels as household incomes were either curtailed or significantly reduced. The COVID-19 Emergency cash transfer was a social protection intervention aimed at protecting the already vulnerable and preventing others from falling into the vulnerability bracket and helping some of the affected to comply with epidemic control measure put in place by the authorities to prevent further spread of the Corona virus. C-ECT was executed through the provision of monthly grants of K 400 per household for a Six months period, targeting over 200,000 households under both the vertical and horizontal expansion. Under the vertical expansion, the program targeted current beneficiaries of SCT in the implementing districts and the horizontal expansion targeted those from the informal sector and those who lost employment or income because of COVID-19 including other vulnerable households.  To reach out to the intended beneficiaries at household level and strengthening the existing systems, C-ECT heavily relied on the existing structures on the SCT.  

CWAC member with Female Headed Household Beneficiary

ECT Draught response payments

Beneficiary after receiving ECT draught response payment in Nyimba District.

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