Swiss delegate claps to TASAF initiative

COAST: THE Tanzania poverty alleviation scheme has been described as a relevant social safety net that corresponds to beneficiaries’ needs and has resulted in impressive results that have contributed to the socio-economic development of people and the country.

Such was revealed by a delegation from the Swiss Agency for Development and the Embassy of Switzerland in Tanzania on Tuesday during their visit to Ruvu Darajani Village and Ward in Chalinze District, Coast Region to oversee the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) implemented programmes.

The Head of Swiss Cooperation at the Embassy of Switzerland in Tanzania, Mr Holger Tausch, noted that they have witnessed impressive outcomes particularly on the way the programme has helped to expand the TASAF beneficiary’s businesses.

“We have heard encouraging and very positive things and am very encouraged by the visit,” said Mr Tausch, indicating recently Switzerland renewed its contribution to TASAF programmes and really through the visit the delegation has witnessed impressive results.

He added: “For us it’s extremely important to see what is happening on the ground, taking into account that contributing to the program that works for a country is one thing but also seeing concrete examples is another thing.”

He observed that what they have seen was quite encouraging particularly the important aspect of people changing their lives and whole view of life. The beneficiaries have demonstrated activeness and a desire to do more.

“We hope one-day social safety nets are not needed anymore, everyone can work on their own to sustain themselves, that is Switzerland’s final goal,” he said.

The Head of the Sub-African Division at the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation, Mr Nicolas Randin, ssaid that social protection for the poor was mportant for Tanzania, congratulating the government with the support of the international community for the decision to roll out the programme that uplifts the many poor people in the country.

“Although it’s my first visit, I am very much impressed with the project. People are very much involved as they take initiative as we have witnessed there is a lot of energy and enthusiasm,” said Mr Randin stating that the TASAF is a relevant government-led programme.

He noted that having a particular social protection initiative that entails different steps including conditional cash transfers, public works programmes, and livelihood enhancement was very interesting and promising.

“The most important thing in receiving support is to be able to take advantage of it. The beneficiaries have taken the opportunity and used the support given to make meaning of their businesses and lives,” he noted.

TASAF Public Works Programme and Infrastructure Manager, Mr Paul Kijazi, who was representing the Acting Executive Director, said the productive social safety net which is coordinated by TASAF receives support from the government in partnership with over 10 development partners led by the World Bank, with Switzerland also involved.

He noted that, recently Switzerland renewed its contribution by increasing its support after being satisfied with the programme’s outcomes.

Thus, the visit by the Switzerland delegation is part of regular follow-up carried out by development partners to oversee the progress that has been attained by the TASAF beneficiaries.

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