CONGOMA says poverty is worsening in Malawi: ‘Gov’t must step up’

The situation of poverty in Malawi “is deplorable”, and the Council for Non-governmental organisations in Malawi (CONGOMA) has challenged government to up its game in addressing it.

Congoma Programs Manager Sikenala Kaluzi: Not only is poverty  widening,  it is also deepening.

A taskforce, Global Call for Action Against Poverty (GCAP) on sustainable development goals in Malawi, which CONGOMA is championing said “poverty levels were worsening.”

In an exclusive interview with Nyasa Times, CONGOMA programmes manager, Simekinala Kaluzi, urged CSOs in the country to raise awareness on what exists and not as far as SDGs are concerned on national level.

He also appealed to CSOs and NGOs to focus on policy demands and achievements in order to fight poverty head-on.

“Poverty in Malawi is deep and widespread,” said Kaluzi, adding Malawi is ranked 170 of 188 countries.

He added: “Inequality is getting worse as backed by the increase in the Gini Co-Efficient from 0.401 in 1998, 0.39 in 2005 to 0.452 in 2010..and the 10% owning nine times more wealth than the poorest 10% of the population.”

Kaluzi hinted that currently the country is struggling in different areas which reflects poverty.

Some of the areas Kaluzi highlighted include Agriculture, water development and Climate Change management, Education and Skills Development, Energy, Industry and Tourism Development, Transport and ICT Infrastructure, with not forgetting Health and Population

Kaluzi said there is need as a country to improve on Financial Services; Disaster Risk Management and Social Support; Gender, Youth Development, Persons with Disabilities and Social Welfare; Human Settlement and  Physical Planning; Environmental Sustainability;  HIV and  AIDS Management; Nutrition; Peace and Security.

He recommended the need for  research to help document evidence of what works and what does not work, helping to provide that hard evidence which ministries, departments and government agencies require.

“CSOs should support the development of national and regional policy strategies and increase the SDGs demand from the grassroots as well as provide the healthy checks and balances needed at national level and improve accountability,” said Kaluzi.

World Vision Malawi programs manager, Charles Chimombo, said there is great need for jointed efforts in order to uplift livelihood in Malawi.

Chimombo whose organization supported CONGOMA said the good news is that some indicators show that things are improving.

Chimombo gave an example that more women are now delivering in hospitals than ever before. She said the development has helped reduce the deaths of women.

Chimombo said the development is able to reduce deaths of our women.

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