Malawi is to receive a total of US$120 million (at least MK37 billion) by end of this year from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for various interventions.

UNDP administrator Helen Clark disclosed this to journalists at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe on Sunday before her departure ending her 3-day-visit to the country.

Clarks’ pledge comes after noting tremendous achievements that the government has made out of the funding from the UNDP, despite the country facing numerous challenges.

She was referring to some achievements of UN programs at Kamuzu Central Hospital, despite being faced with challenges such as shortage of personnel, inadequate funding, insufficient equipment and lack of space.

“I went to the hospital which has a lot of challenges such as shortage of personnel, inadequate funding, and insufficient equipment and lack of space, but we have very dedicated Malawians and UN Volunteers who are doing a very great job.

“I desire to see the latter not here forever doing the work; I desire to see them mentor and support the young Malawian doctors so that they can assume the roles throughout the entire hospitals in the country,” said Clark.

She then pledged to woe more international support for Malawi’s various development programs.

On the stand of the UN on the Tanzania’s claim of half of Lake Malawi, Clarks said the UN hoped to see it resolved peacefully with mediation of a regional or sub-regional organization.

According to Clark, the UN wants the long standing peace that has existed between the two neighboring countries to prevail hence the need to resolve the issue peacefully.

“The question is who is best placed to facilitate, mediate or support dialogue between the two countries? Often the UN looks at the role of the regional or sub-regional organizations but it is important that we hear from both sides then encourage them to resolve the issue through dialogue – that is more than best option,”

She said the two countries had been so peaceful with each other for a long time and that the UN wanted the trend to continue.

The UNDP administrator flew into the country on Thursday on official 3-day visit and among other activities, she held audience with President Joyce Banda in Blantyre, toured Democracy Consolidation Programs (DCP) Lilongwe’s suburb of Mtandire and another one in Malomo, Ntchisi.

On Friday, Clark also witnessed the signing of two agreements among the UNDP, Irish Republic and the Norwegian government to fund DCP and Human Rights Support program for the next years to the tune of US$4.5 million (MK1.4billion).

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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