Minister Kaliati bemoans rise of gender and social degradation due to COVID-19

By Lily Kampani, MANA

Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati has expressed concern over gender based violence and child abuse which she said are on the increase since the onset of Coronavirus pandemic.

Kaliati made the remarks on Thursday in Lilongwe at a press briefing to inform the general public on the ministry’s mandate and its activities, which include addressing issues regarding gender, children, disability, community development and the elderly.

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“The ministry has noted that closure of schools as a result of COVID-19 pandemic has left most young people idle which has led to increased cases of teen pregnancies, early marriages, drug and substance abuse and gambling,” Kaliati said.

She stated that the ministry has taken consideration of the issues and is working with various stakeholders to deal with the challenges.

Coronavirus alert

She cited the introduction of educational radio programs as one of the ways of addressing such challenges.

Kaliati, therefore, pledged assistance to vulnerable street children by working with their families and supporting them with skills development and offer rehabilitation services.

“I would like to report that the Disability Trust Fund has K200 million which will be used to support programmes and activities for persons with disabilities.

Coronavirus Alert

“I would also like to pledge my continued support to the association of persons with albinism to ensure that they enjoy their rights like everybody else,” she said.

Kaliati vowed to continue the social cash transfer program to benefit vulnerable Malawians to cushion the poor and people working in the informal sector from the negative effects of the disease.