Britain has announced that Malawi is among the eight countries that will benefit from a new UK £119 million (about K120 billion) aid package to combat the threat of coronavirus and famine.
This is contained in a statement by British High made available to Nyasa Times announcing UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) merger with the Foreign Office to create the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
Apart from Malawi, other beneficiaries of the aid package, according to the statement includes Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria and Burkina Faso.
“ Without international attention, many more will die from hunger and disease, and the pandemic will continue to spread in developing countries and to the wider world,” the statement noted.
Alongside the aid package, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has appointed former DfID cting Permanent Secretary, Nick Dyer, as UK’s first Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs to work in partnership with other donors, UN agencies, NGOs and foundations to help prevent catastrophic famine.
“Coronavirus and famine threaten millions in some of the world’s poorest countries, and give rise to direct problems that affect the UK, including terrorism and migration flows,” Raab says.
He said global Britain, as a force for good in the world, is leading by example and bringing the international community together to tackle these deadly threats.
“We can only tackle these global challenges by combining our diplomatic strength with our world-leading aid expertise.”
The UK is already leading the way in the international search to find a coronavirus vaccine and has committed to equitable access for all to a successful vaccine, treatments and tests. It is the largest donor to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which is helping to make sure the poorest countries can access any Covid-19 vaccine.
In addition, the UK will continue to use its seat on the UN Security Council to call for life-saving humanitarian access for everyone who needs it and hold countries to account on their international legal obligations to allow aid workers to operate impartially in conflict zones.