HomeNational NewsNationalCADECOM welcomes Declaration of State of Disaster

CADECOM welcomes Declaration of State of Disaster

This is key in resource mobilization for hungry households

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The Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM) has commended President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera for declaring a State of Disaster, stressing that this is crucial in mobilizing financial and material resources for aiding households affected by natural disasters.

CADECOM – or Caritas Malawi – is a social and development arm of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), an association of the Catholic bishops in Malawi.

On Saturday last week, President Chakwera declared a State of Disaster in 23 districts affected by El Nino conditions. The declaration followed a special taskforce report, which the President received following the wave of disaster which hit the country since this year’s rain season.

“It is on the basis of this report that I stand before you tonight, the powers conferred upon me Section 37(1) of the Disaster Risk Management Act (2023), to declare a State of Disaster in 23 out of Malawi’s 28 districts affected El Nino conditions,” said Chakwera.

The declaration came after a series of tours President Chakwera conducted in various districts over the past 12 months to get firsthand information on how Malawians are faring against what he termed as ‘the harsh blows of climate change’.

CADECOM National Coordinator Chimwemwe Sakunda hailed Chakwera and welcomed the declaration, saying it will open doors for the development partners and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to collaborate with the Government of Malawi in providing relief support to the hunger-stricken families.

“As CADECOM, we commend the President for the declaration because the situation is indeed dire on the ground. We work with the communities and we appreciate the gravity of food insecurity and it’s good that the President has declared the state of disaster. This will help in mobilization of resources from partners, which will help reach out to people in most need,” she said.

Sakunda:The situation is dire on the ground

CADECOM is currently responding to food insecurity by disbursing cash transfers to poor families. The programme is being supported by the Scottish Government through the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF).

But Sakunda said the number of people they are reaching is minimal; hence, the need for them to mobilize more resources.

“So, with this declaration of State of Disaster by President Chakwera, we hope to mobilize more funding. Of course, for the districts like Mzimba, which has not been declared as in disaster, there are still pockets where there is a dire need for support and we call upon partners to still consider supporting those affected in these districts also. Further, in as much as the call is for food is quite key, partners should also consider providing livelihood initiatives for alternative sources of income,” she said.

Former president Dr. Joyce Banda and human rights activist Undule Mwakasungula also saluted Chakwera for taking a bold step by declaring a State of Disaster.

Banda and Mwakasungula criticized those against the declaration, arguing it is normal in any country in distress to make such a declaration in order to mobilize internal and external support towards addressing a crisis.

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