Malawi stagnates on human development: Govt to increase funds for rural development

 Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Dr. Goodall Gondwe, Wednesday said Government will increase funds located to rural development to improve socio-economic stand of the people to change Malawi’s position on world human development index.

The 2104 Human Development report (HDI) has revealed that Malawi is not doing well in almost all the concentrated areas of gender inequality (GII), households managed by female and male as they face multiple deprivations simultaneously (HHI).

However, the report indicates gender inequality is very high, and living standard is low, reproductive health, education and socio-economic status of many Malawians is pro-poor. The HDI report reiterated that 66.7 per cent of Malawi population is multidimensional poor.

Goodall Gondwe:  To increase funds for rural development
Goodall Gondwe: To increase funds for rural development

Reacting to the findings on Human Development Index report at the launch of 2014 Global Human Development Report  Gondwe stressed that government will invest in the rural development projects to promote and improve the living standards.

 “We are going to locate more resources in the projects meant for the rural community to develop in order to produce more yields,” Gondwe said.

He added that government would reconsider a project of cash transfer to ably improve and change people’s lives because he noted that people in rural areas are struggling to live a good life.

He furthermore said that government has over the years been implementing programmes, among them; School Meal Programme, School Bursary, Cash Transfer Programme, Income Generation and Public Works Programme.

“Through these programmes, households have been prevented from engaging in negative coping strategies such as letting children drop out of school, postponing medical care and selling their assets to earn a living they value,” Gondwe explained.

He noted with deep concern that the country’s performance on economic and social development indices, Malawi is not doing good as expected however it is imperative to make a practical decision to improve and change the position ranked on the human development index.

UN representative Mia Seppo, noted that existing challenges have been compounded by multiple macroeconomic and climate shocks over the past few years.

“A study sponsored by UN found that Malawi loses 5.3 per cent of the Domestic Gross Product (DGP) annually due to unsustainable management of its natural resources,” Seppo explained.

She revealed that Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) is currently developing a framework for building resilience in Southern Africa, with support from the UN Regional Inter-Agency Standing Committee (RIASCO).

“Discussions are underway through the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, since the resilience agenda cuts across a number of key ministries,” Seppo said.

Human Development Index (HDI) rank for Malawi is 174 out of 187 countries, with an HDI value of 0.414 in 2013 which is an insufficient improvement from 0.411 in 2012.

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