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Malawi SDG Acceleration Fund approves new programmes and allocates additional MK3 billion to fight COVID-19

UNCT Malawi
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The Malawi SDG Acceleration Fund supports three Joint Programmes to improve health systems, keep girls in school, and build community resilience, and has allocated additional MK3 billion to fight COVID-19.

Malawi’s Sustainable Development Goals Acceleration Fund (SDG-AF) was set up in 2019 by the Government of Malawi, development partners, and the United Nations (UN) to accelerate progress towards national attainment of the SDGs.

At its meeting on February 5, the Fund’s Steering Committee, co-chaired by the Secretary to Treasury Chauncy Simwaka and the UN Resident Coordinator Maria Jose Torres, endorsed three Joint Programmes that address the core of national priorities, decentralizing implementation to the district level and ensuring services reach the last mile.

Each programme is multisectoral and involves multiple government ministries and UN agencies, focusing on girls’ education, building resilient livelihoods for the poor and vulnerable, and improving access to basic healthcare. The combined budget of the three Joint Programmes for the next four years is up to US$130 million (about MK101 billion). These programmes are financially supported by the Fund, thanks to the contributions of its donors: United Kingdom, Norway, Canada, Flanders, Ireland, Romania and the UN.

“These programmes represent strategic partnerships between the Government of Malawi, including local authorities and communities, and the UN, thanks to the support of development partners in a step towards accelerating the SDG agenda in the next 10 years as outlined in the Malawi 2063 Vision,” said Simwaka.

At the meeting, the Committee activated the Fund’s Humanitarian Window to help tackle the second wave of COVID-19 in support of the Government Response Plan. Through the window, the Fund has allocated an additional MK3 billion to support national efforts to fight COVID-19.

“The new contribution, this time thanks to support from Canada, will strengthen Malawi’s response to tackle the pandemic and its adverse socio-economic effects by ensuring that vulnerable groups such as women and girls are not left behind in the response,” said Torres.

At the meeting, Canada was welcomed as a new donor to the Fund. The chairs also highlighted the important support from Norway and the United Kingdom to implement the three approved joint programmes.

Senior Government representatives who attended the meeting came from the Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, and Public Sector Reform; Office of the President and Cabinet; Ministry of Local Government; National Planning Commission; Department of Disaster Management Affairs; Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Health. The UN was represented by heads of FAO, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, and WFP, led by the Resident Coordinator.

Currently, there are more than 20 Agencies and specialized organizations of the United Nations active in Malawi which, through their work, contribute to ensuring a better life for the people of Malawi.