President Peter Mutharika on Tuesday inaugurated this year’s Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) Flag Week with a K1 million donation and urged Malawians, particularly the corporate world, to make significant contributions to the outstanding charity organisation.
Mutharika, who is MRCS patron, speaking at Sanjika presidential palace in Blantyre during the Flag Week inauguration, pointed out that since it was founded in 1863 by a Geneva businessperson, Henri Dunant, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement has served mankind well in situations, including wars and disasters.
“I am aware of the financial situation that the society is going through since it stopped receiving annual funding in 1994. So, let me call upon the private sector to mobilise support towards the MRCS’ initiatives in investing more in the welfare of people,” Mutharika said.
President Mutharika commended the Red Cross for its various humanitarian and social interventions aimed at improving lives of vulnerable people, saying the activities of the society cannot go unnoticed because its volunteers work in life threatening situation which requires a lot of support in their pursuit to bring peace to the world.
“In most cases, volunteers are the first to arrive at the scene of a disaster and quite often the last to leave the scene,” President Mutharika added.
Mutharika, therefore, commended the society for their timely and lifesaving response in recent disasters which hit some parts of Lilongwe in the form of floods and during the cholera outbreak.
Since 14 years ago, the Malawi Government withdrew the annual budgetary support it used to give to the organisation.
The President gave an assurance that government would work towards finding a lasting solution to financial challenges rocking the society.
MRCS President Levison Changole said the 2018 Flag Week would be used to broaden public understanding on the work of the society by featuring the diverse and innovative range of services provided across the world.
“During the week, we will highlight how Malawi Red Cross Society is addressing humanitarian challenges through original, creative and unusual approaches.
“We would like the public to learn more about our work in a way that engages them and stimulate their curiosity,” Changole said.
Changole, however, bemoaned inadequate resources as a major challenge hampering the society’s service delivery.
However, Changole thanked all people of good will in the country for the support towards the Flag Week activities, noting that the society was still grappling with strategies to have long and short-term measures for developmental programmes in health, sanitation and disaster risk management.
Red Cross and Red Crescent Flag week intends to collect K500 million.
This year’s Red Cross Flag Week theme ‘Everywhere for everyone’.
Red Cross in Malawi was formed as a national humanitarian society by an Act of Parliament in 1966.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :