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Norway cautions Malawi on aid usage

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The Royal Norwegian Embassy has cautioned Malawi Government to use support it receives from Norway for its intended purposes.

“We are here to support Malawi’s various development programmes but we need to see the positive results. Our support should be used for its intended purpose and reaching the rightful beneficiaries,” said the Norwegian Ambassador to Malawi, Kikkan Haugen, in an interview when he visited Times Group head office in Blantyre on Wednesday.

Norway has been supporting the Malawi government in various areas of human rights, education, agriculture and culture among others.

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Haugen also said his government is pleased with the mature way in which Malawi is handling issues of sexual minority groups considering the sensitivity of the issue in an African country.

“Sexual minority issues are a sensitive issue in most African countries and I must admit Malawi is handling it in a mature way. The way Malawi reflected on this issue in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in May last year indicated some level of maturity.”

“So far, there has been a formal debate even though some laws are yet to be changed on this issue but so far so good. I have worked in Zambia before but these issues were highly sensitive,” he said.

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Malawi’s report of the working group of UPR, among others, highlighted that the country accepted to take effective measures to protect Lesbians, Gays, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) from violent attacks and to ensure that they have effective access to health services including treatment of HIV and Aids.

Haugen noted that even though Malawi is doing well in most areas of respect for human rights, it has to deal with killings of persons with albinism, saying this is another minority grouping that has had their human rights violated.

“Every human being has his or her basic rights despite belonging to a minority group or because of their sexual orientation. All these are in international instruments which Malawi is party to,” he said.

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