The Sustainable Development Goals in Malawi
The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. These are the goals the UN is working on in Malawi:
27 February 2024
Malawi Government and United Nations Forge Strategic Partnership for Development
At Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, a significant gathering unfolded as Malawi's President Lazarus Chakwera convened the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) for a high-level dialogue to solidify the strategic partnership between the Government and the UN. The meeting was marked by a profound exchange of insights and commitments aimed at advancing the nation's development priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), underscored by the unveiling of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2024 – 2028. Led by the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Malawi, Rebecca Adda-Dontoh, the UN Country Team aimed to strategically enhance the United Nations' collaborative efforts through engagement with the State President and to deliver advocacy messages and dialogue on key issues. The Resident Coordinator set the stage by urging both the UN and the Malawi Government to move together in elevating the lives of Malawians. "It is said that if you want to go fast, you go alone, but if you want to go far, you go together. UN Malawi’s commitment is to go both far and fast together with Malawi, and we are here to reassure you of this commitment," said Adda-Dontoh. She delved into the essence of the Cooperation Framework, illustrating its ambitious agenda anchored around four strategic priority areas: supporting sustainable, diversified, and inclusive growth; strengthening institutional governance; ensuring sustainable investments and outcomes in human capital development; and adapting to climatic change while reversing environmental degradation and supporting energy transformation. Further, Adda-Dontoh emphasized the significance of leveraging the six SDG transitions to accelerate Malawi's progress towards national commitments and the achievement of the SDGs. These transitions encompass critical domains such as climate resilience, energy access, sustainable food systems, education, job creation, and digital connectivity. Drawing attention to Malawi's proactive stance on global initiatives, Adda-Dontoh commended the nation for committing to becoming a pathfinder country for the UN Secretary-General’s Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection. She congratulated President Chakwera for the progress made on this front and encouraged continued government engagement and leadership. Expressing the UN's commitment to supporting Malawi's development agenda, Adda-Dontoh emphasized the transformative role of education as a key SDG transition pathway. She highlighted Malawi's prominence in the African Union's Year of Education and its upcoming participation in global education summits like Summit of the Future in 2024. In response, President Chakwera expressed heartfelt gratitude for the UN's unwavering support in advancing Malawi's development aspirations. He underscored the practical significance of the partnership forged, rooted in shared values and a common vision for progress. "In embracing the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, we reaffirm our dedication to the well-being and prosperity of all Malawians," affirmed President Chakwera. "Our partnership with the UN is not merely symbolic but practical, underscored by our joint commitment to translating policies into tangible outcomes." The President outlined Malawi's strategic priorities, stressing the imperative of inclusive economic growth and sustainable development across key sectors such as agriculture, mining, trade and tourism. He further confirmed the alignment of the Cooperation Framework priorities with the government's own development priorities, emphasizing the synergy between the two agendas in driving progress for Malawi. His words echoed a sense of urgency, emphasizing the need for concerted efforts to address the nation's multifaceted challenges. With mutual determination and a shared vision for progress, the meeting concluded on a note of optimism. Both parties pledged to work hand in hand, leveraging the UNSDCF as a guiding framework to propel Malawi towards a brighter and more prosperous future.
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12 December 2023
PAVING THE PATH TO PROGRESS: MALAWI GOVERNMENT AND UNITED NATIONS UNITE TO CHART THE WAY TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
In a momentous occasion that echoed commitment and hope, the Government of Malawi and the United Nations in Malawi have come together to seal a transformative commitment through the signing of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2024-2028. The significance of this historical juncture was underscored by the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Malawi, Rebecca Adda-Dontoh. "The signing of a Cooperation Framework represents a bold new commitment to strengthen partnerships to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and national development priorities," she proclaimed. This pact represents a beacon of renewed hope, embodying our collective pledge to positively transform the lives of people in Malawi while safeguarding the planet for generations to come. Challenges such as climate-induced disasters, health crises, and geopolitical conflicts have not deterred Malawi from its unwavering resolve to achieve the SDGs by 2030 and the goals set forth in Malawi 2063, the country’s long-term development blueprint. The UNSDCF 2024-2028 aims to reinvigorate the country's development trajectory, leveraging six pivotal transitions spanning food systems, energy access, digital connectivity, education, jobs, and climate change to spur accelerated action towards Agenda 2030. Imbued with principles of inclusivity, human rights, gender equality, resilience, sustainability, and accountability at its core, the framework stands as a testament to a joint commitment to the people of Malawi. The Government of Malawi and the United Nations pledge to work hand in hand, ensuring transparency and accountability in delivering on the ambitions of the Cooperation Framework. "The signing of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for Malawi 2024-2028 marks a new beginning, infusing our nation with a sense of renewed hope and possibility for meaningful transformation in the years ahead," remarked Colleen Zamba, Secretary to the President and Cabinet, as she addressed the gathering at Capital Hill in Lilongwe. "We recognize the significant journey ahead, a collective effort aimed at uplifting the lives and aspirations of all Malawians. I wholeheartedly reaffirm the government’s unwavering commitment to this Cooperation Framework." Zamba continued, emphasizing the collaborative spirit that shaped this visionary roadmap. "It's essential to acknowledge the extensive collaboration between the Government of Malawi and the UN Country Team, whose dedication over the past year has brought forth this ambitious yet achievable roadmap. Aligned with our national blueprint, Malawi 2063, and medium-term development plans, this framework stands as a testament to our shared commitment toward sustainable development and progress." This partnership, which envisages investment of US$1.7 billion over five years, is poised to bring about profound transformation across four priority areas: sustainable, diversified, and inclusive economic growth; strengthened institutional governance; sustainable investments in human capital development; and climate change adaptation alongside environmental sustainability. Approximately $600 million has already been allocated within the framework, a testament to the substantial contribution expected in crucial sectors like education, health, and climate change adaptation, as highlighted by UN representative in Malawi, Rebecca Adda-Dontoh. The signing of the UNSDCF 2024-2028 stands as a pivotal milestone in Malawi's pursuit of sustainable development. It signifies a resolute step towards realizing a brighter, inclusive, and prosperous future for all people in Malawi.
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13 September 2023
Multistakeholder Dialogue Paves the Way for Malawi's SDG Rescue Plan
On the eve of the global SDG Summit, the Government of Malawi convened stakeholders from civil society, the private sector, academia, the media, and development partners for an inclusive dialogue aimed at mobilising broad based support for its “SDG Rescue Plan.” Malawi has confronted an array of challenges that imperil its progress towards the SDGs. Cyclones, pandemics, and conflicts have rolled back hard-won gains achieved in critical areas like poverty alleviation, food security, healthcare, education, water resource management and economic growth. The nation's path to achieving the SDGs by 2030 is at risk and demands urgent corrective action. The 2022 Voluntary National Review report found that Malawi's progress towards the SDGs has reached a critical juncture, with only 18 percent on target, 41 percent making moderate progress and a concerning 41 percent falling behind. Recognizing the urgency to put Malawi back on a path to inclusive, sustainable growth and development, the Government, with the support of UNDP, carried out an SDG Push Diagnostic which produced an integrated SDG Insights Report that helped to determine SDG interlinkages that revealed how actions directed towards one SDG can impact others. As a result, the Integrated SDG Insights Report has helped Malawi to uncover how SDG interactions can help the country to achieve the 2030 Agenda while navigating trade-offs. Facing high stakes and formidable challenges, Malawi has set ambitious targets to accelerate achievement of the SDGs in this decade of action. Malawi has identified 5 priority areas with high multiplier effects for investment and policy change that will help secure maximum progress across the SDGs. The areas that will be prioritised are women's empowerment, job creation, sustainable industrialization, resilient urban planning, institution building, and good governance. Through strategic investment in these 5 areas, the Government hopes to reduce national poverty from 50.7% to 35.3% by 2027 and further to 26% by 2030. The Government also hopes to reduce inequality levels by increasing the growth rate of household expenditure or income per capita from 1.27% to 6.7 % by 2027 and 10% by 2030. During the multistakeholder dialogue, Ms. Rebecca Adda-Dontoh, UN Resident Coordinator for Malawi, stressed the immense potential inherent in collaboration among stakeholders. "In unity," she declared, "we find strength. Together, we can overcome even the most formidable challenges and translate our commitment into tangible SDG progress." For her part, Malawi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Nancy Tembo, echoed the call for unified action to drive SDG realization. She passionately proclaimed, "Let's make our seats at the table seats of progress and be the change we want to see. We are the architects of our destiny, and together, we shall build a more prosperous and equitable Malawi." The dialogue provided a platform for all stakeholders to explore how they can contribute to SDG advancement. In terms of policy advocacy, Government officials were urged to utilize their positions to advocate for policies and legislation aligned with the SDGs. Private sector leaders were encouraged to invest in sustainable and socially responsible business practices. Other stakeholders including CSO, Youth, Accademia and Communities were also encouraged to actively participate in SDG implementation. This multistakeholder dialogue served as a prelude to the forthcoming SDG summit, scheduled for later this month. The summit is expected to provide an expanded platform for in-depth discussions and commitments aimed at advancing the SDG agenda in Malawi. Insights and priorities gleaned from this dialogue will play a central role in shaping the discussions and driving action during the summit. As Malawi continues its journey towards SDG realization, these collaborative endeavours are poised to ensure inclusivity, leaving no one behind, and propelling the nation toward a more sustainable and equitable future. The introduction of the "SDG Rescue Plan" marks a resolute step in this direction, demonstrating Malawi's steadfast commitment to surmount challenges and secure a prosperous future for all its citizens.
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10 July 2023
Coordination Saves Lives: UN Resident Coordinator's Office Leading the Way in Cyclone Freddy Response
"We have lost everything. Our house was destroyed, and we have no food or water. We are desperate for help." - Mary Phiri, Resident of Phalombe District & Cyclone Freddy survivor. In the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Freddy's devastating impact on Malawi, the strength of leadership and collaborative efforts has become paramount in rebuilding shattered lives. We highlight the stories of resilience and the indispensable role played by the coordination in mobilising UN Agencies and the international community to support the government to respond to this calamity. The fury of Tropical Cyclone Freddy spared very few, leaving thousands of Malawians in the southern districts without hope for food security this year. The prevailing sentiment among many Malawians is poignantly captured by Mary Phiri, who, like so many others, witnessed all of their life possessions being washed away by the ravaging flood waters of the cyclone. Amidst the widespread devastation, the agricultural sector suffered the most significant blow, with crops and livestock decimated by the heavy rains. The government estimates that over 50,000 hectares of farmland have been destroyed, posing a severe threat to food security in the affected areas. But the impact goes beyond agriculture. The cyclone has also dealt a severe blow to infrastructure and the economy. Roads and bridges have been damaged, hindering transportation and access to markets. Businesses have been disrupted, affecting local economies and livelihoods. The rebuilding process will require concerted efforts and support to revive the economic activities that sustain communities. Furthermore, the health sector has not been spared. Malawi was already grappling with a cholera outbreak, and the cyclone exacerbated the situation. Access to clean water and sanitation facilities became even more dire. Efforts to provide safe water supply, hygiene promotion, and disease prevention measures require to be intensified to prevent further health crises and protect vulnerable communities. In response to this humanitarian crisis, the UN Country Team, under the leadership of Resident Coordinator, Rebecca Adda-Dontoh, rallied 60 UN agencies and non-governmental organizations to deliver life-saving assistance to affected communities. Their collective efforts have played a crucial role in providing immediate support and paving the way for long-term recovery. "In the weeks since this tragedy struck, I have been absolutely inspired by the many people who have helped their neighbours and fellow Malawians impacted by Tropical Cyclone Freddy. In support of these incredible communities and the government-led response, we have provided life-saving assistance. However, much more remains to be done." - Rebecca Adda-Dontoh, UN Resident Coordinator in Malawi. Recognizing the urgency, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERP) swiftly released US$5.5 million to support the humanitarian response in Malawi. These funds have been instrumental in providing emergency shelter, food, and medical assistance to the most vulnerable. However, the journey towards recovery is far from over. Education has been severely disrupted, with hundreds of schools damaged or converted into temporary shelters. UN Malawi, in collaboration with local partners, is working tirelessly to ensure that nearly 1.3 million affected children receive the support they need to continue their education. The UN Malawi has been a vital lifeline, utilizing helicopters to reach isolated communities that were completely cut off by the cyclone. Their Home-Grown School Feeding interventions, supported by the European Union, provide sustained access to nutritious meals for over 38,000 children in Chikwawa, Nsanje, Phalombe, and Zomba Districts. Furthermore, UN agencies are working collaboratively to provide essential protection services. Through awareness programmes on the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, child rights education, gender-based violence, and early child marriage, they have reached at least 24,200 individuals, including nearly 11,700 children. UN Malawi showcased unwavering dedication in supporting those affected by Cyclone Freddy through the provision of crucial shelter and protection services. The primary focus was to ensure that individuals impacted by the disaster had access to secure and safe shelter, offering them a haven from the chaos and uncertainty. Concurrently, comprehensive protection measures were implemented to safeguard the rights and well-being of vulnerable individuals, including raising awareness about critical issues such as sexual exploitation and abuse, child rights, gender-based violence, and early child marriage. These interventions had a direct and transformative impact on the lives of thousands, providing immediate relief, a sense of security, and the essential support needed to rebuild and move forward. Amidst these challenging circumstances, the UNRCO in close collaboration with OCHA, is at the forefront of coordination efforts, ensuring that assistance reaches those most in need. The office has facilitated the collaboration of various UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, and development partners, emphasizing the value of coordination, including in emergency situations. The Malawian government, in conjunction with humanitarian partners, has conducted a comprehensive Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA). This assessment provides valuable insights into the extent of the damage caused by Cyclone Freddy and serves as a blueprint for long-term recovery. It underscores the importance of building back better and creating more resilient communities that can withstand future disasters. The path to recovery and rehabilitation will undoubtedly be a long one, but the resilience and determination of the Malawian people are unwavering. However, together we can rebuild shattered communities, overcome this disaster, and forge a path toward a more resilient future.
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