Lilongwe - On January 20, the U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed an administrative agreement with the World Bank to contribute $4.4 million, or 4.5 billion Malawi kwacha, to kickstart a new social protection multi-donor trust fund and support the Government of Malawi to scale-up and strengthen existing shock responsive safety nets and their delivery systems.
The trust fund will enable the Government of Malawi to provide unconditional cash transfers to the most vulnerable Malawians and deliver cash for work to households at risk of extreme hunger. According to U.S. Ambassador to Malawi, David Young, the trust fund will significantly expand a cash for work program that provides temporary jobs that enhance Malawi’s climate resilience with forest and soil restoration, watershed recovery, and other climate-smart enhanced public works. It will also strengthen productive and economic inclusion interventions that support livelihoods and help Malawians achieve self-reliance.
This assistance comes at a time when Malawi is facing a growing food crisis, with approximately 5.4 million people, or 25 percent of the population, facing moderate or severe chronic food insecurity. The contribution to the multi-donor trust fund is part of an additional $12 million in supplemental funding that the U.S. Congress has provided to Malawi to save lives and mitigate further increases in poverty, hunger, and malnutrition as a result of rising prices of food, fertilizer, and fuel.