The United Nations (UN) has said Malawi is at a critical crossroads as it attempts to navigate a very difficult terrain to pull its people out of poverty.
UN Resident Coordinator Maria Ribeiro was speaking in Lilongwe on Monday night at the 2022 Commemoration of the UN Day held under the theme ‘Malawi and UN: Breaking New Grounds for an Inclusive and Resilient Society.’
Ribeiro said the climate crisis, compounded to the slow-moving global economy, uncertainties over the price of oil, the Russian/Ukraine crisis, the continued gender inequalities, among other unfolding global events, portray a challenging environment to advance in areas such as poverty reduction, food security, and resilience.
She was, however, quick to note that the UN in Malawi and its partners will stand with the government to lift those most left behind out of extreme poverty.
According to Ribeiro, the UN will do this by strengthening social protection for the poor and vulnerable, increasing access to basic services, and supporting people harmed by climate-related extreme events and other economic, social, and environmental shocks.
“I firmly believe this is what the UN is all about. I ask everyone to join hands and to reassure the people and Government of Malawi that the UN not only stands with you, but also that the UN belongs to you.
“As we commemorate the UN Day today, let us continue to unite behind solutions that can benefit and transform the lives of all people in Malawi,” she said.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nancy Tembo said Malawi’s prospects towards an inclusive and resilient nation continue facing hurdles since the advent of Covid Pandemic and the current increased frequency and magnitude of climate induced disasters.
According to Tembo, while we were recovering from the impacts of the pandemic and projecting economic growth beyond it, the current global economic slowdown and the geopolitical tensions have forced Malawi back to the drawing board.
“It is disheartening that many of our citizens who were on track to improving their socio-economic status have been forced back into acute poverty.
“As a disaster prone country, our approach towards development in this era should now be transformative and sustainable if we are to build the necessary resilience among our citizens,” Tembo said.
The UN Day falls on October 24 and marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter.