Norway’s Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinneriem and UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad) president Gilbert Houngbo will visit the country next week.
The two will meet President Lazarus Chakwera and small-scale farmers to discuss the impact of climate change and ways to build resilience.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Ifad said Tvinneriem and Houngbo will arrive on February 27 for a three-day visit.
Apart from Chakwera, the two will also meet Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Lobin Lowe and the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Sosten Gwengwe to discuss investments in climate change resilience to achieve zero-hunger and poverty targets in the country by 2030.
Houngbo is quoted as saying in the statement: “Extreme weather events have increased globally and have recently wreaked destruction in Malawi and it is the small-scale farmers who are [bearing] the brunt of it.
“My urgent call is to step up investments in adaptation and resilience to ensure that climate change does not deepen hunger and poverty.”
On her part, Tvinneriem said food security is a main priority in Norway’s development policy because it is essential to fight inequality, poverty and hunger.
“Ifad’s projects and programmes enable small-scale farmers and fishermen to produce enough, safe and healthy food in climate-smart ways.
“Therefore, I am looking forward to a joint field visit with President Gilbert Houngbo to Ifad projects in Malawi.
“Norway will strengthen our partnership with Ifad and will top-up our core contribution significantly for 2022-24,” she said.
The two are expected to travel to an Ifad-supported project to discuss the challenges of climate change and Covid-19 directly with small-scale farmers, particularly women, to see how targeted investments have built their resilience and boosted their food security, nutrition and gender equality.
While in the country, they will also meet United Nations resident coordinator Rudolf Schwenk, the United Nations country team, development partners and farmers’ organisations representatives working in the country.
Since 1981, Ifad has financed 14 rural development programmes and projects in Malawi at a total cost of $653.67 million (about K560 billion) with an Ifad investment of $350.48 million (K330 billion)
This has directly benefited more than two million rural households.