The UK Minister for the Department for International Development (DFID), James Wharton, is visiting Malawi from 9 to 11 November 2016.
Minister Wharton, who oversees development aid in Africa, will see the impact of the humanitarian crisis which has left 6.5 million in need of food aid and the impact of the UK’s response in coordination with other development partners.
He will hold talks with key stakeholders on how Malawi can break the cycle of food insecurity, adapt to climate change and continue with market reforms that encourage private sector-led economic growth.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Minister Wharton said:“The UK has a strong historic relationship with Malawi and remains fully committed to supporting the country’s continued economic growth and deepening the links to British businesses and organisations – which is firmly in Malawi and the UK’s national interests.
“During my visit I will meet with those worst affected by the ongoing drought and see first-hand how the UK is providing lifesaving assistance and leading the way in supporting the poorest people to lift themselves out of poverty.”
Head of DFID in Malawi, Philip Smith, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Minister to Malawi. His visit demonstrates UK’s commitment to development of Malawi.
“As the UK Minister who overseas DFID’s work in Africa, Minister Wharton will, among other things, visit a food distribution centre, a sugar cooperative, and a health facility, as well as hold meetings with the Vice President and key ministers. He will also meet with British business leaders to promote investment opportunities that can spur Malawi’s economic prosperity”
The UK Government, through DFID, has a programme of ongoing support worth £150m in Malawi this year in health, education, agriculture, water and sanitation, economic development, increasing access to justice for women and vulnerable groups, accountability and governance reforms.
This is the first official visit to Malawi by the Minister Wharton since he was appointed on 16 July under the new UK Prime Minister Theresa May.