Malawi Pres. Banda announces new Trust Fund to support social projects

President Banda delivers the State of the Nation Address in Parliament on 17 May 2013
President Banda delivers the State of the Nation Address in Parliament on 17 May 2013

President Dr Joyce Banda has announced the establishment of a trust fund to provide funds to support social projects in the country.

In her State of the Nation address to Parliament on Friday, President Banda said the trust fund will provide accessible, responsive and flexible funds targeting all the individual villages across the country, and all Malawians regardless of their political affiliation will benefit from the Trust.

“The Trust will mobilize resources from local and foreign private sector organizations, social entrepreneurs and non-governmental organizations. The Trust will also generate its own resources through businesses like commercial farming, value addition and real estate development among other things,” said President Banda.

The Malawi President said the 2010 Integrated Household Survey showed that the poverty head count in Malawi did not significantly decrease over the past 10 years.

“Statistics show that in 2004/2005 poverty head count was at 52.4% and in 2010/2011 it had only dropped to 50.7%. My government is concerned by the slow pace of eradicating poverty and therefore the government is determined to rejuvenate rural economies, improve the social economic conditions of rural communities and bring real incomes into households.”

She said her vision was that the Trust to be launched in August this year will support villages to address most of the needs of rural communities.

The package for the Trust will consist of the following:

  • Provision of clean and portable water through boreholes
  • Building assets of households through livestock production
  • Formation of farmers clubs to access farm inputs on loans
  • Growing of cash crops by rural farmers
  • Continuation of FISP, cash for work projects for social protection
  • Special Housing schemes for serving civil servants, for example, lower grades nurses, teachers, community and extension workers serving in the rural areas
  • Provision of health and education infrastructure

The President said for purposes of accountability and transparency, the Trust will submit its reports to the Office of the President and Cabinet.

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development will assist the Initiative in setting up mechanisms for project identification, selection, financing, implementation and monitoring in the districts, the Malawi leader announced.

She thanked all Malawians for their sacrifices and the confidence entrusted in her and her government during this period of economic recovery, saying the road to recovery has not been easy.  But she assured Parliament and Malawians that a bright light shines at the end of the tunnel referring to the economic reforms her government is implementing.

The reforms have started seeing the kwacha appreciating against other foreign currencies and the inflation rate going down in the past one month.

The President also thanked the Development and Cooperating Partners for the support that they have rendered to Malawi saying Malawi would not be where it is we are today without their support.

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