President Professor Peter Mutharika has applauded the Global Hunger Project for adopting a holistic approach in empowering communities to manage hunger and poverty.

The President believes such an approach is the most sustainable way in developing countries like Malawi as it weans people from the dependency syndrome.

Mutharika was speaking Wednesday afternoon at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre where he had an audience with the Global Hunger delegation.

“Let me begin by applauding the work that Hunger Project is doing in Malawi and the world over. I have been deeply touched by the holistic approach that Hunger Project uses to empower people in our communities.

“You are not just giving our communities fish rather teaching them how to fish, and making them self reliant in the long term as well which is the most sustainable way of developing our countries. We need to wean ourselves from the spirit of dependency,” he said.

Mutharika stated that the ultimate goal of every NGO’s work was to ensure that the community they work with are empowered to the level they can manage their own next steps.

“I am also happy to hear that you are now working with a total of 264,000-people in ten epicenters in 6 districts in Malawi. I am particularly pleased to hear that one of your 10 epicenters, Champiti epicenter in Ntcheu district, where you have been working since 2007 will soon in 2016 be declared ‘self reliant’,” said Mutharika.

President Mutharika assured the Global Hunger Project who are one of the key players in the Global Debate Platform for Sustainable Development Goals that Malawi will do her own prioritization out of the 17 SDG’S to concentrate the country’s efforts meaningfully.

“In our previous MDG’s we have called them “priorities with priorities”. Coincidentally, our MDG expires in the same year that we will have the SDGs adopted in 2016. This will be our opportunity to align our national development priorities with the SDGs,” explained Mutharika.

Mutharika also assured the Global Hunger Project that government will adopt the epicenter approach once proven successful in Chikwawa where it is being piloted.

“I am particularly happy to note that The Hunger Project in Malawi is piloting an approach in which it is coaching the Local Council of Chikwawa as well as providing the needed financial support for implementation of your ‘epicenter approach.”

“If that works well, then what can stop it from being replicated in other districts? I will be looking forward to recommendations from this pilot as we forget our way forward in developing this country,” said Mutharika.

And in an interview, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hunger Project Asa Skogstrom Feldt said her organisation works in eight countries across Africa and the main goal is to ensure that the countries step up their goals to alleviate hunger and poverty.

“It is important for government to be inclusive and let people drive the system. Top-down solutions are needed when there is an emergency, but they do not solve issues,” she urged.mana.

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