Five Malawian community-based organisations (CBOs) on Thursday received grants totaling $40 000 ( about K29 million) from the United States African Development Foundation (Usadf), an independent agency of the United States (US) Government. The ceremony was held at the US Embassy in Lilongwe.
This year’s grants will support two value-adding groundnut and sunflower oil processing centres, two honey production and processing businesses, and one aquaculture business.
According to a press statement released by the US Embassy on Thursday, the projects will create jobs for people in rural areas.
“A total of 5 516 people will directly benefit from the grants and thousands more will indirectly benefit from the products generated from the businesses,” reads the statement in part.
The statement further quotes US Ambassador Virginia Palmer as having said the US Government is proud to partner Malawi in the projects.
Said Palmer: “We are happy to see your commitment to uplifting living standards in your communities. We believe these projects will be a catalyst for the sustainable transformation of your communities. The United States Government is proud to be your partner in these projects.”
The beneficiary projects include Lilongwe South Association in Lilongwe and Mpamba Fish Association of Nkhata Bay which received $ 10 000 (about K7.2 million) each, Mapanga Honey Processers in Mulanje which received $ 6 575 (about K4.7 million) and Mkanako Oil Producers in Mzimba which received $ 9 925 (about K7.1 million) and Chiguluwindi Beekeeping and Nkhotakota which received $ 3 500 (about K2. 5 million).
Since 2011, the Usadf has funded local grassroots organisations to implement innovative and sustainable income-generating projects in their communities. The grants are implemented through the US Ambassador’s Self-Help Fund designed to support community-driven development projects that address grassroots economic and social issues.
The programme selects projects that, among other factors, improve basic economic or social conditions at village level; have a high-impact, can be quickly implemented, and benefit a large number of people; involve a significant local contribution in labour, material, or cash; are within the ability of the local community to operate and maintain; and are a direct response to the initiative and aspirations of the local community.
Through this programme, 39 projects worth $210 000 ( about K130 million) have been funded nationwide since 2011. n