Malawi is one of the world’s poorest countries struggling both economically, socially and politically. Recently Malawi has experienced high level organised corruption due to poor public accountability. The country is prone to the adverse effects of climate change, i.e. flooding, draughts etc.
Malawi has a population of 16.36 million with a lower life expectancy of 55.31 with about 50.7 % of the population living below poverty line of less than 1,25 $ a day. Presently, 6,5 mill people living without food because of draught and is therefore depending on food assistance until next harvest in April 2017. Poverty is much higher in rural areas that in urban settings. Population growth is at 8%. HIV prevalence rate has stagnated at 10%. Harmful cultural practices still fuel the spread of HIV.
Malawi is facing governance issues. Politicians hold too much power and selective justice is being practiced. High profile criminal cases have stalled, while politically motivated cases are common.
Malawi, a predominantly agriculture nation, is very prone to the adverse effects of climate change; yet it is not well prepared against reducing the risks.
The country has high debts, much higher than her exports sufficiently can address. A viable replacement for the failing tobacco industry, that used to be the backbone of the economy, hasn’t been identified yet.
Despite a relative enabling legal framework of civil society organisations to operate within, the oversight role is not fully operationalised, which among other things, leaves many women and girls unaware of their rights.
We have been in Malawi since 1980s when we were supporting clinics and doing relief work. We pride ourselves to have helped the country’s democratisation process since 1993 leading to the first multiparty general elections against autocratic regime of Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda. We supported civil society organisations in their quest for democracy.
Today, we have a country programme 2016-2020. We are only implementing through partner organisations, but have narrowed the partner portfolio, geographical coverage and thematic focus in order to be more efficient in achieving change for the target groups.
We are now working on Active Citizenship and Right to Food combined with Humanitarian Action where deliberate measures to increase women and youth participation and involvement in democratic decision making processes and structures are focused.
by Finn Petersen, Country Director