resident Lazarus Chakwera has expressed government’s commitment to providing additional funding to Malawi Red Cross Society to ensure that vulnerable communities are supported to remain resilient to shocks from natural disasters and Covid-19.
The President’s commitment follows an additional budgetary funding request from Red Cross which said its current K350 million subvention was not enough to fulfil natural disaster response needs.
Chakwera, who is patron of Red Cross, was speaking when he inaugurated the 2021 Malawi Red Cross Society Flag Week aimed at raising K100 million to support vulnerable communities affected by natural disasters and theCovid-19 pandemic.
He said he is fully supportive of the Red Cross strategic and sacrificial approach and that he is committed to seeing the institution succeed with support from government.
Chakwera said: “I am committed to considering your request for additional budgetary support, as well as other tools that are critical to your work. And even in my personal capacity, I will do what I can to lead Malawians by example in supporting the efforts you make every day to make Malawi better and stronger.
“After all, a better and stronger Malawi is in line with my vision of building a new Malawi, a Malawi that is self-reliant as envisioned in the Malawi 2063 Vision.”
The President said the world is coming to terms with the discovery of yet another strain of the Covid-19 variant detected by scientists in South Africa.
During the inauguration, Chakwera donated K1 million to the cause and urged the corporate world as well as individuals to emulate his gesture in aid of the vulnerable societies.
The President also hailed the Malawi Red Cross Society for remaining firm and using its 75 000 volunteers across the country to be the first to reach disaster areas with response.
Malawi Red Cross president Innocent Majiya appealed for increased budgetary support from government, saying due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the effects of climate change, there are a lot of emerging issues requiring more financial support to effectively support the vulnerable communities.
He said: “We wish to appeal through you our patron for an increased budget allocation to Malawi Red Cross from K365 million to K650 million.
“This amount will support the national society achieve some milestone in contributing to the pillars in the Malawi 2063 plan in the First 10-year Implementation Plan [MIP-1].”
World Red Cross Day, which is commemorated on May 8, is celebrated annually to honour the founder of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Henry Dunant. It is celebrated to make people aware about the need to save lives.
However, the event was postponed from May to November due to the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The theme for this year’s flag week is ‘Unstoppable’, meaning that despite challenging environments, Red Cross volunteers still brave the challenges to provide response to the vulnerable people.