President Peter Mutharika on Wednesday met Prince Harry of the United Kingdom (UK) and commended the UK for supporting Malawi’s response to natural disasters in the past two years.
The President was speaking after meeting the prince at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.
He said the relationship between Malawi and Britain, through Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her successive governments, has proven the UK to be a reliable partner to Malawi for many years.
Said Mutharika: “I also wish to express my appreciation for the 24 million pounds that Her Majesty’s Government has provided towards this year’s food shortage.”
In April this year, the President appealed for local and international assistance for relief after the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Mvac) report revealed that about 8.5 million people were at risk of hunger this year.
Britain has to date given Malawi 24 million pounds (K22 billion) in disaster response assistance.
The President said it was pleasing to note that Britain, Malawi’s former colonial master, has been helping in various sectors over the years.
He said: “Over the years, Her Majesty’s Government has provided enormous support to this country in sectors such as health, education, agriculture, economic and social development, and infrastructure development, just to mention a few.
“The UK is also one of the leading supporters of initiatives to stop wildlife crime and protect Malawi’s natural resources. My government is very appreciative of this support, as it cements the two government’s relations.”
Mutharika also said he was hopeful British investors will attend the Second Malawi Investment Forum scheduled for October 10 and 11 this year, in Lilongwe.
Prince Harry is on a private visit at the invitation of the African Parks Network, a wildlife and environmental conservation organisation.
During the meeting, Mutharika welcomed Prince Harry’s involvement and commitment to the fight against wildlife crimes and the conservation of nature.
African Parks has embarked on a two-year record elephant translocation exercise from Liwonde National Park in Machinga and Majete Wildlife Reserve in Chikwawa to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.
By the end of the exercise, 500 elephants will have been moved to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.
Prince Harry discussed with the President a shared commitment to the protection and development of ecosystems and wildlife and the role organisations like African Parks can play.
He also expressed support for Malawi’s efforts to meet the humanitarian food challenge the country is facing.