Former President Dr. Bakili Muluzi and the new United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator, Miss Rebecca Adda-Dontoh, met on Friday to discuss UN’s response to the cyclone relief effort in Malawi.
The meeting took place just a day after President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera met with Dr. Muluzi and former President Dr. Joyce Banda at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre where he also appointed them as Malawi’s Goodwill Ambassadors to help present the Malawi case to the outside world on the damage Cyclone Freddy has caused the country and to assist in resource mobilization.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leader Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika (APM) refused to offer a helping hand to efforts to find solutions to the social and economic challenges emanating from Tropical Cyclone Freddy.
During the meeting at his BCA Hill private residence in Blantyre, Muluzi explained the severe impact Cyclone Freddy had on the lives of victims and the country as a whole. He lobbied for more humanitarian and technical support in the affected areas.
He submitted a list of priority areas that require urgent intervention, including food, potable water, sanitation, protection of children, prevention of gender-based violence, sanitation and hygiene, health care, shelter, and a plan for reopening schools.
For medium-term interventions, Dr. Muluzi proposed social protection programs, seed and fertilizers for farmland and livestock, and the reconstruction of bridges, roads, and housing.
For medium to long-term interventions, he suggested lobbying developed nations for debt cancellation so that Malawi can use its resources for its reconstruction program with reference to COP28 (Conference of Parties) on climate change to be held in November 2023 in the UAE.
Dr. Muluzi commended the UN for playing a central role in coordinating donor response efforts in the affected areas.
The UN family has so far contributed $5.5 million towards the country’s efforts to help the victims of Cyclone Freddy.
Muluzi ruled Malawi from 1994, after Malawi attained multiparty democracy, to 2004.