US announces $158 million support to Malawi

President Lazarus Chakwera with vising USAID Director Samantha Power

Visiting US Agency for International Development (USaid) Administrator Samantha Power has announced US$158 million to strengthen democratic institutions and local governance, spur economic growth and improve early grade reading and nutrition in Malawi.

According to the US Embassy, among others the new five-year Strengthening Parliament's Role in Malawi's Development project will invest $11.7 million to help the National Assembly strengthen its legislative, oversight and representative functions.

The project will provide expertise in legislative analysis and drafting and support Parliamentary oversight actions such as independent inquiries, depositions and public hearings.

It will also leverage the full expertise of Malawi’s public service by facilitating stronger coordination between Parliament and statutory oversight institutions to better combat corruption and further empower civil society and media to demand accountability.

On economic growth, the agency will invest $35 million, subject to appropriations, in a five-year project to support Malawi’s economic recovery.

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Women and children are some of the beneficiaries from the US support

By strengthening rural economic hubs around value chains or companies that act as anchors for an ecosystem of actors, the new project will generate jobs and incomes for smallholder farmers and increase agricultural and food exports for the country.

It is designed to complement the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s efforts in Malawi to reduce poverty through economic growth.

The project will focus on empowering women and youth, expanding agricultural commercialization, increasing household and community resilience and addressing the impacts from a changing climate.

USAID’s new Next Generation (NextGen) early grade reading project will be supporting Malawi’s vision for early grade literacy.

This investment of $74 million over the next five years, subject to appropriations, will improve the delivery of high-quality early grade reading instruction in all of Malawi’s over 5,700 public primary schools nationwide.

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President Lazarus Chakwera with the visiting USAID Administrator Samantha Power.  Pic courtesy of US Embassy 

“NextGen will strengthen local, decentralized systems that bring governance, accountability, and oversight of education to local communities; dramatically increase the quality of reading instruction during early school years; strengthen the primary education system; and equip more than 160 schools with resource centers for students with disabilities. Ensuring that girls in particular have equal access to early primary reading instruction will establish foundations for a gender equitable future”.

Let Them Grow Healthy (Tiwalere) is a five-year, $46 million initiative, subject to appropriations, in support of the Government of Malawi’s National Multi-Sector Nutrition Policy.

It is anticipated that USAID will invest $23 million and that the private sector will match this by also contributing $23 million.

This alliance of for-profit corporations, non-governmental organizations, and USAID aims to improve the health of Malawians, particularly adolescents, pregnant and lactating women, and children by expanding quality nutrition, maternal and child health, water and sanitation and malaria program coverage.