HomeNational NewsNationalU.S. Senators happy with U.S-funded projects in Malawi

U.S. Senators happy with U.S-funded projects in Malawi

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Five United States (U.S) senators, who visited Malawi on Wednesday to appreciate the development partnership and diplomatic relations between the two countries, have expressed satisfaction with the impact of some U.S funded projects on people’s lives in Malawi.

The high-powered delegation included Senators Patty Murray, Chair, Appropriations Committee, and leader of delegation; Christopher Coons, Chair, Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations; Gary Peters, Chair, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee; Catherine Cortez Masto, Finance Committee; and Peter Welch, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

The senators visited four projects namely, USAID funded Secondary Education Expansion for Development (SEED) school project – Mzuzi Community Day School in Lilongwe rural west; Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact II (Chileka-Likuni road) project site; USAID-supported Gala Macs Growth Poles project, between Chileka and Namitete and Martin Preuss Centre (MPC), an HIV and integrated health care services facility at Bwaila Hospital in Lilongwe.

Senators Murray (R) and Coons (L) happy with progress Pic. By Kondwani Magombo _ Mana

Addressing journalists after the tour, leader of delegation, Senator Murray, was impressed with the “tremendous partnerships” and the “open excitement on the people’s faces” in the areas where the projects are being implemented.

On the Gala Macs macadamia nut cracking facility and farm, Murray underscored the importance of government to continue investing in economic development by, among other areas, partnering with the private sector, saying such partnerships are good for sustainability of programs and creation of jobs, among others.

She said: “The project we saw today – macademia groundnuts – is a private company coupled with USAID: those kinds of investments will give jobs to people here, and they will also help boost the agricultural industry.”

On education, Senator Murray urged Malawi government to continue investing in young girls, saying they (girls) hold the future of the country and that they need to be productive members of the country.

Most importantly, the senators hailed the progress that Malawi has registered in HIV fight through the U.S President’s Emergency Plan For Aids Relief (PEPFAR) as per the briefing they had had at the MPC, Bwaila Hospital.

“PEPFAR has made tremendous significance: It is significantly reducing the number of people infected – we’ve seen statistics that are astounding,” said Murray, adding: “I’m delighted to see that PEPFAR has been part of that [progress].”

She disclosed that the senate in the U.S had just finished appropriations and that PEPFAR funding will be extended to another year because the senate “believes in how important and significant that is”.

On the same, Senator Coons also marveled at the impact PEPFAR has made on the lives of people in Malawi and beyond, and that “billions of dollars that the American people have invested” have drawn results.

“PEPFAR has increased life expectancy by almost 50 percent not just here in Malawi, but throughout the region, including Botswana and Zambia,” said Senator Coons, and added: “It has also increased capacity for health care services, treatment, monitoring, prevention of mother to child transmission and testing.

“There has been dramatic effect and we look forward to sustaining those gains that we have made.”

Other than touring the projects, the senators also held meetings with President Dr Lazarus Chakwera and other government officials at Kamuzu Palace, Lilongwe, Wednesday evening.

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