Our work in Malawi focuses on Right to Food, Humanitarian Action and Active Citizenship for improved access to and control of productive resources such as land and adaptation techniques to combat climate change.


Country Director
Finn Petersen
Phone: +265 88 88 31 897
Skype: petersen.finn

DanChurchAid Malawi
Along Presidential Drive
Area 12/624
Lilongwe, Malawi
Phone: 265 1 772 744/711

DCA in Malawi

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 the poverty line of less than 1,25 $ a day. Presently the country seems temporarily food secure due to the ban on exportation of the staple grain, maize. However, some families in the southern parts of Malawi will continue to be depending on food assistance due to drought that have affected some of the districts.

Poverty is much higher in rural areas than 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 can be sufficiently addressed by exports. A viable replacement for the failing tobacco industry, that used to be the backbone of the economy, has not 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.

DCA has been in Malawi since the 1980s, when we were supporting clinics and doing relief work. We pride ourselves on having helped the country’s democratisation process since 1993 which lead to the first multiparty general elections against the  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, as well as 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.

Activities in Malawi

Active citizenship

Active citizenship

With our partners, we work to hold duty bearers accountable for not respecting, protecting and fulfilling the rights of Malawians. We thus empower rights holders to meaningfully participate in political decision-making and change processes and to have access to productive resources, innovative knowledge, social services and income generation opportunities.  

Right to Food

Right to Food

We work towards empowerment, advocacy, awareness raising and education for improved access to and control of productive resources such as land. We help rights holders to practice climate change adaptive techniques for resilient livelihoods. 

Read stories

Farming family par excellence
Smallholder irrigation farming is the way out of poverty

Launch of Youth Resource Centres
"This project pulled me back from marriage to school."

The power of a young lady
“Marriage is not a career. I have to make my future first."

Partners in Malawi

  • CCAP Synod of Livingstonia
  • CCAP Synod of Nkhoma, Church and Society
  • Blantyre Synod Health and Development Commission (BSHDC)
  • Evangelical Association of Malawi(EAM)
  • Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)
  • Quadria Muslim Association of Malawi (QMAM)
  • Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (FISD)
  • Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD)
  • Centre for Multi-Party Democracy (CMD)
  • Christian Service Committee (CSC)
  • LandNet
  • Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)
  • Small Producers and Transporters Association (SPRODETA)
  • Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP)
  • Malawi Council of Churches (MCC)
  • Public Affairs Committee (PAC)
  • Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM)
  • Women Legal Resource Centre (WOLREC)
  • The Civil Society Network on Climate Change (CISONECC)
  • Association of Progressive Women (APW)
  • Foundation for Civic Education and Social Empowerment (FOCESE)
  • Malawi Human Rights Resources Centre (MHRRC)

Donors in Malawi

Youth group in Mwanza championing Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights. Nzatonse Project.

Women groups targeted in bee keeping project by Landnet in Ntchisi

VSLA Group at Mpherembe

Patients attending services at a Bilka funded Musumbe Health Centre in Chitipa

Farmer at Phalasito Irrigation Cheme

©Obrien Chisambi

Expectant women attending health talks at Lunjika

Drilling water for small scale irrigation

Cooperative member for Zuwe Agroprocessing and beneficiary of  free seed and cash transfer

Cash transfer scheme to the poorest households at Chankhungu in Dowa to cusion food availability

Cash transfer by EAM targets old and other vulnerable people

Self reliant young lady now constructed her own house