* Doubling efforts to finalise the designed US$300 million wealth creation that will benefit one million people
* Also supporting Cyclone Freddy-affected Malawians and the extreme poor people at the grassroots level
By Lisa Kadango-Malango, MANA in New York
GiveDirectly, a global nonprofit organization that lets donors send money directly to the world’s poorest households, has pledged to support US$42 million towards Malawi social cash transfer programme to boost people’s lives at grassroots level.
This was announced on Monday in New York, USA when President Lazarus Chakwera held bilateral discussions with GiveDirectly president, Rory Stewart.
Stewart also announced that his organisation is doubling efforts to finalise the designed US$300 million wealth creation that will benefit one million people and that his organisation is supporting Cyclone Freddy-affected Malawians and the extreme poor people at the grassroots level.
“We have been coordinating and discussing with the Malawi President to support people by directly supporting the beneficiaries with cash to assist them transform their lives,” he said. “We have been working with Malawi for a number of years in areas of agriculture and different projects.
“The discussions with the president centered on our future plans on how best we can double the efforts,” Stewart said, adding that the organisation works with Malawi to get the strategy plan on how best to identify the poorest people from different regions.
GiveDirectly helps families living in extreme poverty by making unconditional cash transfers directly to them via mobile phone.
The response from GiveDirectly comes after President Chakwera addressed a review meeting on UN Women Generation Equality Midpoint at the United Nations Headquarters where he emphasized that the social cash transfer in Malawi is assisting people at the grassroots level by enhancing security and decision-making power.
He said his administration is committed to provide support in women initiatives to drive their socio-economic growth in employment and mandate gender mainstreaming in all spheres of life.
He highlighted that the cash transfer programme has benefited over 150,000 households — 90% of them being women, saying there is need to provide opportunities to women and girls to achieve gender equality to enable them improve their livelihoods and promote their businesses in rural areas.
“There is growing evidence that supporting households with cash directly for a period of time under supervision has more lasting positive impact in building resilience and self-resilience long term than pouring money into the programmes of some implementing organisations that exist,” he said.
Meanwhile, later in the day, President Chakwera attended the Seed Global Health event where the discussion focused on strengthening financing for climate change resilience, health systems investments in the health work force.
Chakwera urged the international organisations to increase their financial support to Malawi, saying the effects of climate change have devastated Southern Malawi which destroyed infrastructure, such as roads and houses as well as claiming people’s lives.
He thus called for increased financing from the forthcoming Conference of Parties (CoP28) and consider countries that have been affected more with the Cyclone Freddy to ease the challenges the people are encountering.