President Dr. Lazrus Chakwera has reiterated his government’s commitment and preparedness to provide relief foodstuffs to over 3.8 Malawians who are food insecure because they did not yield enough from their fields due to negative impacts of climate change.
He said his government is prepared to take responsibility to alleviate the suffering caused by these climate change impacts and that this is why he declared a state of national disaster when the tropical storms hit Malawi.
President Chakwera disclosed that his declaration of state of national disaster] allowed Malawi to mobilize resources from all over the world for the implementation of this year’s Lean Season Food Insecurity Response Plan developed by his office.
“This responsibility is the reason why we worked with our partners to disburse MK44.5 billion through cash transfers to vulnerable homes affected by these events. This responsibility is the reason why even this morning, my officials in the Ministry of Agriculture are meeting to discuss the need to drawdown on the country’s strategic grain reserves in order to make relief maize available to thousands of homes that do not have enough food.
“This responsibility is the reason why in all my international travels, I am lobbying for support to Malawi for climate change mitigation and adaptation, and I will do so again in two weeks when I address the Climate Conference in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt,” he said.
President Chakwera said impacts of climate change affect women and children more; hence, the government has the duty to protect and care for them.
But the Malawi leader emphasized that if Malawi is to achieve climate justice and to create a future in which children today will flourish, then the response has to go beyond relief and aim for resilience.
“This means we need to make radical changes in our way of life as a country and in our relationship with the environment, not only to protect and preserve its best assets for your future, but also adding value to it so that it is left for you better than we found it.
“As young people, you have a role to play, and you have ideas to share, and today, I want you to tell your parents what ideas you have for making Malawi a more environmentally sustainable country for the future you will inherit. This is also the reason I wanted to be here, to listen to your thoughts and concerns, because I believe you must be part of the conversation. After all, this is your country too, and your voice matters,” said Chakwera.