TASAF programme get 50bn/- boost

DAR ES SALAAM: THE government of Tanzania, Switzerland and Ireland yesterday inked a 20.3 million US dollars (50.13bn/-) grant agreement to support the execution of the second Productive Social Safety Net (PSSN II) Programme coordinated by the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF).

Out of the 20.3 million US dollars financing, Switzerland is expected to dish out 18 million US dollars while Ireland eyes to extend 2.3 million US dollars.

The financing is a continuation provided by the two countries in making the programme a reality, whereas previously Switzerland issued 17.1 million US dollars and another 2.1 million US dollars was obtained from the Irish government.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Dr Natu Mwamba indicated this during the signing ceremony of the two grant agreements held in Dar es Salaam, yesterday, stating that PSSN II programme is aligned with Tanzania’s Vision 2025 (TDV-2025) which guides the country’s socio-economic development.

Besides, it is further aligned with SDG number 1 which calls for an end to poverty in all its manifestations by 2030 and Africa agenda 2063 which commits to support Africa’s new path for attaining inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development.

“The total budget of PSSN II is 883.32 million US dollars (equivalent to over 2.2tri/-) …through the financing we hope to achieve intended objectives by enabling family members from poor households to attain social and economic development by the end of September, 2025,” said Dr Mwamba.

Outlining some of the objectives of the programme, the PS pointed that since its offtake in February 2020 after conclusion of PSSN I in December 2019, its overall goal has been to reduce poverty and improve the country’s human capital.

She, however, noted that PSSN II aims to improve access to income-earning opportunities and socio-economic services for targeted poor households while enhancing and protecting the human capital of their children.

Such is being undertaken through improved consumption, income generating activities, increased school enrolment and health seeking behaviour for children as well as improved access to community assets and services.

“The programme has enabled students from beneficiary households to access secondary and higher education, whereby in 2022, the number of students who received 100 per cent higher education loan from Higher Education Loan Board was about 2,950 students,” stated the PS.

She expressed appreciation to Switzerland, Ireland and all Development Partners who have contributed to the success of the programme.

Elaborating on financing, Acting Executive Director of TASAF, Mr Shedrack Mziray noted that PSSN II was to be concluded this September but President Samia Suluhu Hassan decided to extend the programme for two years, whereby it will continue to September 2025 due to its importance in eradicating poverty, thereby contributing to the socio-economic development of the people.

He observed that the budget for finalising the extension was 374 million US dollars, enabling 1.3 million poor households to graduate from abject poverty in the country.

“This is a timely support for the government in its efforts to reduce poverty in the country and in achieving both the national and global objectives to end poverty,” he said.

For his part, Ambassador of Switzerland in Tanzania, Mr Didier Chassot revealed that the Swiss Foreign Policy was guided by Switzerland’s added value and long-term interests but also – and as importantly – by the needs and ambitions of partner countries.

“It is obviously not different from Tanzania, where we systematically align our cooperation engagement and support with the development goals of the government, as stipulated in the Five-Year Development Plan III (FYDP III) and the Vision 2025,” he said.

Thus, Switzerland aims to contribute to sustainable human development in Tanzania, based on the principle of social inclusion, participation and accountability.

The Ambassador of Ireland, Ms Mary O’neil viewed that the goal of the Embassy’s mission strategy is to support peace, prosperity and equality, with a focus on women and girls.

“In Tanzania, we see TASAF as an important tool to achieve the aforementioned…Ireland has been a consistent supporter of social protection,” she noted.

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