UNDP China Visits Malawi

Jun 27, 2016

The launch of the Small Grants Scheme, as part of UNDP China’s ongoing trilateral cooperation on Disaster Management

Lilongwe, Malawi, 6 June- Representatives from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) China, visited Malawi to launch the Small Grants Scheme, the first trilateral cooperation between the People’s Republic of China, Government of Malawi and UNDP in which community based organisations from disaster prone areas of Malawi will receive small grants to implement disaster risk management projects in their communities.

The trilateral cooperation between China, Malawi and UNDP on disaster risk reduction is a component of the China-Africa-UNDP Cooperation Umbrella Programme which started in 2013. Co-financed by the Government of China and UNDP, the small grant scheme launched is part of UNDP China’s ongoing trilateral cooperation projects. The project implementation will be coordinated by the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA) in Malawi.

UNDP and the People’s Republic of China signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2010 on South-South Cooperation, a broad framework for collaboration among countries of the South in the political, economic, social, cultural, environmental and technical domains.

This Small Grant Scheme on disaster risk management and reduction attracted over 200 project proposals from community based organisations (CBOs) and Civil Protection Committees (CPCs) in 15 disaster-prone districts of Malawi. Out of these proposals, six were successful, having been assessed and appraised by experts from UNDP and DODMA. Before the commencement of project implementation, UNDP Consultant, Professor Weihua Fang from Beijing Normal University in China and representatives from DODMA will conduct a workshop for successful CBOs and CPCs to discuss the implementation plan and provide further technical advice on the projects.

The aim of the small grant scheme is to shift the focus of affected populations from being victims to becoming active agents of change, the project also comes at pivotal time as vulnerable communities look for innovative solutions to minimize the impacts of floods and become more resilient to risks and shocks following devastating floods of 2015 from which communities are still recovering.

In 2015, Malawi experienced the worst flooding in history, and one of the key experiences was that communities affected, were not utilized as agents of change but rather victims. It was also observed that significant investment was on response and a proactive approach was inadequate. Following this experience, this support from the grants will empower affected populations to be better prepared and to contribute to the mitigation actions. This way communities more resilient in the long run as they will be proactive in managing potential impacts from floods.

Trilateral cooperation offers a unique approach to development where multiple actors join hands in promoting new, innovative solutions that build on international best practices and concrete experiences gained in other countries under a common goal of reducing poverty and enhancing mutual development benefits. For UNDP, trilateral cooperation is a core approach to South-South Cooperation, since 2010, UNDP China has established a wide variety of trilateral cooperation initiatives focusing on poverty reduction in sectors such as agriculture (Cambodia), renewable energies (Ghana, Zambia, Burundi), and disaster management (Nepal, Bangladesh, Malawi).

Trilateral cooperation projects with China are shaping a distinctive approach for sharing ideas, resources, and knowledge, drawing from China’s unique development path and valuable experience in lifting its own people out of extreme poverty.

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