Malawi, China launches Small Grants Support for disaster prone districts

Malawi government has jointly launched small scale grants towards disaster risk management which will be implemented under the trilateral cooperation between United Nations Development  Fund and the Government of China.

Shi-Ting Wan: China helping friend indeed Malawi
Shi-Ting Wan: China helping friend indeed Malawi

The trilateral Cooperation between China, Malawi and UNDP on disaster risk reduction is a component of China-Africa -UNDP Cooperation Umbrella Programme which started in 2013.

SGS project  is Integrated in the Government policy on disaster risk management support programme.

UNDP and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2010 on broad framework for collaboration among countries of the South in the political, cultural, environmental and technical dormains making China to dominate as major donor over the past decade contributing a total
of USD 14.41Billion between 2010 and 2012.

Speaking during the launch of the project which will be coordinated by Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA), UNDP Country Representative, Mia Seppo, said the project is continuation of the journey which started in 2013.

Seppo, who was not physically present on the launch but just sent her written speech, said it is undeniable fact that Malawi is in the state of disaster following the impacts of EL Nino with projected impact of La Nina over the next few months.

According to Seppo, the SGS will help to support Malawians in the flood prone areas so that they are empowered economically.

“This grant will target community based organisations and civil protection committees which are structures which are recognised by the Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Act to be the first responders when disaster occurs at sub district level,” said Seppo.

According to Seppo the project targets 15 disaster prone districts of Malawi.

Speaking on behalf of Malawi Government, DODMA Commissioner who is also Principal Secretary in the Office of the Vice President, Ben Botolo, said the support has come at a right time when Malawi is experiencing food insecurity situation and when the country is also expecting La Nina year.

“The experiences of the past have  taught us as a nation a lot of lessons key of which is the need to focus on risk reduction,” said PS Botolo.

Botolo said it is unfortunate that over the past years the country has seen magnitude of disaster increasing.

“This is being attributed to among others, climate change, rapid population growth and higher levels of vulnerability to disaster,” said Botolo.

Botolo urged Councils to use the money prudently.

The money will help in construction of dykes in some parts of the disaster prone areas and creation of safe haven.

“If you produce bad results it means you are closing the door to other vulnerable communities that could have benefited from such support,” said Botolo.

Botolo has since commended UNDP and Chinese Government for helping Malawi at a time when most donors are shunning providing direct support.

Chinese Ambassador to Malawi, Wang Shi-Ting said China is committed in supporting Malawi.

Just recently, Malawi and China signed a Memorandum of understanding that will see Beijing providing humanitarian food assistance to Malawi and provide 100 Police Vehicles.

In the agreement, China is expected to provide 6,500 tonnes of rice valued at K7 Billion 100 Police vehicles wealth K4Billion.

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