Four hundred and forty Malawian veterans are among the 7000 Commonwealth veterans who, from this year, will start receiving regular cash transfers to prevent them from going hungry under the new Department for International Development (DFID).
The programme, worth £11.8 million, extends to their widows and widowers in more than 30 countries.
Making the announcement on Sunday during the Remembrance Day Centenary Reception and Bell Ringing Ceremony at her residence in Lilongwe, the British High Commissioner to Malawi, Ms Holly Tett, said the UK recognises the sacrifices that the Commonwealth Veterans made.
After their fierce fight to protect empire at Moyale in Kenya and in the Forgotten Army in Burma, where many lost their lives, Malawian soldiers were discharged with no pension or anything, no thank you, nothing. In fact, a domestic servant could be discharged in a more honourable manner.
“UKAID will be supporting veterans across the Commonwealth to show the depth of gratitude that we have to these men and women. I am really pleased that we will be able to increase the cash transfers so that they can afford two meals a day.”
In his remarks, the Commander of Malawi Defence Force, General Griffin Spoon Phiri thanked the UK for the support, saying his organisation tries its best to look after the war veterans but faces challenges to satisfy the need.
“We do not take such kind of gesture for granted as this will go a long way in uplifting the welfare of these veterans and families.”
A war veteran, 16683 Sergeant John Masanya, who fought in the Second World War as a rifle man and later as a Radio Operator, said the new form of support from the UK would ease up his daily challenges.
The British High Commission in Lilongwe also supported MDF’s Charity golf, football and netball tournaments last week to raise extra resources for the war veterans.
The new Department for International Development (DFID) programme, which will be supporting the 440 veterans through regular cash transfers, will be delivered through the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League, a charity which has been supporting those such veterans who served The British Crown for almost 100 years.
Source : Malawi 24 and Uk in Malawi