Malawi promises to be an outstanding haven for children, thanks to the effective projects being run by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).
Unicef eastern and southern Africa regional director Leila Pakkala, who oversees Unicef work in 21 countries in the region, made the observation during an interview with The Nation in Lilongwe after a six-day tour of Malawi.
Her remarks came after she visited several of Unicef’s social protection projects in Mchinji and Kasungu districts, where orphaned children and widows were among those who testified of facing the future with confidence after being empowered by the projects.
The Kenya-based Unicef regional director also made a stirring speech at a reception hosted in her honour at Capital Hotel on Thursday night in Lilongwe.
“It is very clear that Unicef has invested heavily in the areas of need for children and vulnerable women. The outcome is also very impressive for the beneficiaries not only reflect resilience but also exhibit a great sense of project ownership,” Pakkala enthused.
Asked whether the Unicef work would be negatively affected by Cashgate that has seen some donors reducing, or stopping, funding for some projects in Malawi, since the scandal broke over a year ago, Pakkala replied: “Unicef has very robust checks and balances over its funds, which are focused on programmes run transparently.”
Guest of honour, Industry and Trade Minister Joseph Mwanamvekha, commended Unicef for improving children’s welfare and rights in the country.