The European Union (EU) has allocated almost K3.4 billion humanitarian support to boost Malawi Government’s preparedness and response plan to coronavirus.
The 3 700 000 euros funding will support three projects to close critical gaps in the fight against Covid-19, which has claimed 179 lives from Malawi’s 4 263 confirmed cases by Monday.
The humanitarian community will work closely with the Department of Disaster Management Affairs, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare to strengthen the national Covid-19 response.
The projects aim to reduce coronavirus spread by strengthening health facilities; improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and supporting national, district and community preparedness and response.
The funding will also ensure a rapid, gender-sensitive response to protect lives and livelihoods.
Two projects will be implemented in Mzimba North, Lilongwe, Dedza, Mangochi, Blantyre, Mwanza and Mangochi until October next year.
EU is channelling the funding through two NGO consortia led by Save the Children and Cooperazione Internazionale (Coopi) which are working together to collect data and lessons to assist all partners in these sectors.
Coopi’s partners are working in the Central and Northern regions while Savethe Children is leading non-governmental organisations working in the South.
The partners include Care, Oxfam, Catholic Relief Services, TroCaire, Goal, Concern Worldwide, United Purpose, Cadecom and Catholic Health Commission.
EU Humanitarian Aid head of office for southern Africa and the Indian Ocean, Alexandre Castellano, said the funding constitutes a significant step towards strengthening Malawi’s National Covid-19 Preparedness and Response Plan as well as capacity in the fight.
He explained. “The coronavirus pandemic has shaken even the most established health systems in the world.
“The European Union stands in solidarity with the people of Malawi in the fight against the virus. Through this funding, we join hands with our partners in Malawi to beat this global problem and to strengthen local capacities to fight back.”
Save the Children country director Kim Koch said the investment is “a welcome opportunity” to contribute to national Covid-19 response.
“All partners are glad to be able to leverage our diverse capacities in this coordinated programme that will ultimately save lives,” she says.
Coopi disaster risk reduction programme manager Harry Guelker said the joint project will add to improved resilience of the country’s population of almost 18 million.
“Thanks to the diversity of activities under this project, the two consortia, in collaboration with the Malawi Government, are in a good position to flexibly respond to the rapidly changing situation of the Covid-19 pandemic in Malawi as well as getting prepared to respond to potentially upcoming emergencies such as drought, flood or storm.”