USAID Malawi Health, Population and Nutrition Program Overview


Over the last two decades, Malawi has made gains in most health indicators.  It is one of only a few countries to have achieved Millenium Development Goal 4 for child survival ahead of the target year, 2015.  These broad gains, however, mask important realities and structural dynamics in the health system that must be addressed if the advances of the past two decades are to continue.  

With an explosive growth rate of 2.8%, Malawi’s population could nearly triple from its 2008 level (the last year in which a census was taken) by 2040.  Unmet need for family planning services remains high, particularly among young people.  Close to one million people in the country live with HIV, with approximately 34,000 new infections each year.  Even with the gains in child health, almost one-half (47%) of Malawian children are stunted.  It is also a high-burden malaria country with at least 5 million episodes of malaria per year.  Over a third of established positions in the health sector are vacant and there is a perpetual shortage of qualified health workers in facilities across the country.  Such tremendous health challenges, combined with strained economic resources and marginalized women and youth, place an unmanageable burden on the health system.
Malawi - VMMC - HIV
A group of eager teenage boys in Phalombe show off their Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision wristbands.
Patrick Zgambo, Banja La Mtsogolo

Program Elements

  • USAID’s global Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH) goal is ending preventable child and maternal deaths in a generation.  USAID integrates high impact, evidence-based MNCH practices into households, communities, and health facilities, and works with the Ministry of Health to provide a continuum of care for women and children.
  • USAID works closely with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Irrigation, Agriculture and Food Security to strengthen the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector.
  • Family Planning is a critical piece of Malawi’s overall health objectives. USAID champions community-based distribution of a wide variety of family planning options and improves access to long-term and permanent methods.  USAID supports reforms designed to strengthen commodity security.
  • USAID addresses malnutrition by integrating behavior change communication with agricultural value chains and health service delivery; preventing and controlling micronutrient malnutrition through food fortification; institutionalizing community-based management of nutrition; and building the capacity of  government staff working in the nutrition sector at all levels.
  • The HIV/AIDS portfolio in Malawi is funded through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and includes investments in HIV treatment and care services, behavioral and biomedical prevention, and community strengthening to increase acceptance of HIV treatment services and support vulnerable populations such as People Living with HIV and Orphaned and Vulnerable Children.
  • USAID works with the National TB Control Program to realize its vision of a tuberculosis-free Malawi by reducing the morbidity, mortality, and transmission of tuberculosis until the disease is no longer a public health problem.
  • With approximately $180 million in investment between 2006 and 2014, the US Government’s Presidential Malaria Initiative has contributed to substantial scaling-up of malaria prevention and control interventions in Malawi, such as increasing the supply of long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets and malaria drugs; providing preventive services to pregnant women through antenatal care; and training health workers to improve malaria case management in communities and facilities.
  • Procured and distributed four million rapid diagnostic test kits, which detect evidence of malaria parasites in human blood;
  • USAID health systems strengthening activities cut across all of the above technical areas and build the capacity of Malawian institutions to respond to the country’s public health challenges.

Funding (FY14)

$41 million (HIV/AIDS, including OVC)
$1.5 million (TB)
$22 million (Malaria)
$16 million (Maternal & Child Health, including Food for Peace)
$12.7 million (Family Planning)
$5 million (Nutrition, including Food for Peace) 
$3 million (WASH)
TOTAL: $102 million


  • Government of Malawi
  • Abt Associates
  • African Palliative Care Association
  • Banja La Mtsogolo
  • Baylor
  • FHI 360 
  • Bunda College of Agriculture
  • Centers for Disease Control
  • Christian Health Association of Malawi
  • Dignitas
  • Feed The Children
  • Futures Group
  • Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • John Snow International
  • ICF Macro
  • MalariaCare
  • Partners in Hope
  • Peace Corps
  • Population Services International
  • Save the Children
  • Tufts University
  • University Research Council
  • World Learning Inc.

Geographic Location


USAID Contact

Peter Halpert, Health Office Chief

Last updated: April 08, 2015

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