Malawi NGOs spent MK412bn in 2021: Minister Kaliati calls for monitoring of NGOs interventions

The 2021 NGO Sector Report says 317 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) spent MK412 billion implementing various projects in Malawi in 2021 and employed over 24, 000 people.

These are organizations that submitted annual reports for the year under review—including audited financial statements—to the NGO Regulatory Authority (NGORA), representing 43 percent compliance rate.

However, launching the report in Lilongwe, Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, wondered if such “huge spending” really brings the much desired improvements in communities.

She, therefore, called for strict monitoring and coordination of NGOs projects by enhancing the involvement of district councils and community governance structures, among other stakeholders.

“Money should tally with projects on the ground. Crucial areas such as health, education and agriculture must be accorded priority.

“Since 2013, donors are channeling support to Malawi mostly through NGOs. It is, therefore, important that their interventions must have impact as they are doing the work on behalf of the government,” Kaliati said.

Every year, since 2019, NGORA—a state-owned registrar and regulator of all NGOs and civil society organizations in Malawi—issues an NGO sector report outlining the developments and achievements in the sector.

Commenting on the report, NGORA Vice Chairperson, Nina Ghambi, expressed her happiness over the 43 percent compliance to reporting requirements, saying, as a regulator, they have worked hard to achieve that through awareness of the NGO Law and other innovations.

She, however, acknowledged that a lot still needs to be done in order to achieve the compliance threshold of 65 percent.

“We are writing and telling NGOs about compliance. The NGO Law is very clear. Everyone is supposed to be regulated,” Ghambi said.

There are reportedly 880 NGOs in NGORA’s database and 715 are supposed to be submitting annual reports, including audited financial statements.

NGORA seeks to ensure that more than half of the 715 NGOs are compliant to reporting requirements so that the resources in the NGO sector, now estimated at MK1 trillion annually, are well accounted for.

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