Malawi aid focuses on health & jobs


First Minister Alex Salmond has marked the bicentenary of Scottish missionary and explorer Dr David Livingstone by announcing funding for aid projects in Malawi focussing on healthcare and growing the economy. The announcement comes during the visit to Scotland by Her Excellency, Dr Joyce Banda, the President of the Republic of Malawi. 

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Making the announcement First Minister Alex Salmond, confirmed that 15 projects in Malawi, run by Scottish–based organisations, have been allocated £4,920,106 of funding over three years from the Scottish Government’s International Development Fund.  Mr Salmond made the announcement in Blantyre in Lanarkshire where David Livingstone was born.

Amongst those receiving funding are SCIAF, Oxfam Scotland, and the University of Edinburgh, with nine health and six sustainable economic development projects all designed to make a difference to the lives of the people of Malawi, many of whom are amongst the world’s poorest. Several of the projects have a focus on maternal and child healthcare.

Commenting the First Minister said: 

“As the enduring and strong relationship between the peoples of Scotland and Malawi continues I am delighted to announce this funding which has a focus on healthcare and economic development in Malawi.

“I am particularly pleased that as we welcome President Banda  – who is only the second ever female Head of State in Africa – that several of the projects we are supporting have a focus on women and children – such as supporting professionals delivering maternal and child healthcare, and improving maternal and neonatal care in rural areas.

“It is also important that we focus on economic development in Malawi. Just as the global recession has hit the economy here it has also hit hard – in fact harder – in developing countries. The Scottish Government is committed to working with the people of Malawi and continuing the partnership of skills and expertise that currently benefits Scots and Malawians every year.”

SCIAF is one of the many Scottish based aid agencies helping people in Malawi. Welcoming the funding announcement Director Patricia Chalé, said: 

“Malawi remains one of the poorest countries in the world with 40 per cent of the population surviving on less than 66 pence a day.  This money will help 3,000 of the poorest Malawian families to increase their income and the amount of food they can grow.  Many will receive goats, cattle and livestock training. Eight villages will receive help to build new irrigation systems. Others will receive small loans and training in how to start up small businesses. 

“These vital funds from Scotland will help thousands of individuals move away from a life blighted by hunger, towards a brighter and more prosperous future.  The Scottish Government should be commended for its continued commitment to partnership with the Malawian people.  Today’s announcement is particularly poignant as we celebrate the bi-centennial anniversary of the life of Dr David Livingstone.” 

Judith Robertson, Head of Oxfam Scotland – who are receiving funding to assist subsistence farmers in rural Malawi - said:

“This is very welcome funding which will make a real difference to thousands of the most vulnerable households in rural Malawi, including households headed by children or affected by HIV and AIDS. The finance will help them improve their economic position through the provision of farming skills and technology.

“It’s particularly apt that the announcement has been made this week as we celebrate the bi-centenary of David Livingstone – and illustrates how his legacy continues to make a real difference to the most vulnerable Malawians.”

Further Information

The following 15 projects (see link below) – with a total value of £4,920,106 – have been allocated Scottish Government International Development funding over the 2013/14 – 2015/16 period. 

The projects include 9 Health projects with a value of £3,041,847 and 6 sustainable Economic Development projects, with a value of £1,878,259.  We expect projects in the Education and Civic Society and Governance themes to be announced later this year.