Chitipa District Council has lamented cutbacks in funding for educating orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) aided by National Aids Commission (NAC).
According to district nutrition and HIV and Aids officer Loti Makina, the learners on NAC sponsorship have been hit hard by the squeeze.
He made the remarks when the commission and its partners visited the district to appreciate its response to the pandemic.
Makina revealed that the council, which used to receive K12 million for almost 200 students, got just about K800 000.
“This is too little to meet the demand. The number of beneficiaries varies according to where they learn. With K800 000, we could only support 31 students out of over 100 who need help,” he said.
Councils also get funding for monitoring the performance of students under the programme.
Chitipa district commissioner Grace Chirwa said the setback has left many vulnerable students facing an uncertain future.
But NAC executive director Davie Kalomba said the commission scaled down funding for orphans and vulnerable children because it is also grappling with funding problems.
“It’s a terrible situation. NAC sympathises with community-based organisations, but there is nothing much we can do,” he said.
Kalomba asked the councils to seek new partners.
He said NAC support was not meant to replace bursary programmes that councils had for OVCs. n