By Cedric Nkungula
President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has secured US$158 million from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to be used to boost the country’s economic growth, strengthen democracy and improve early grade literacy and nutrition.
Updating Malawians through a Facebook post on Saturday, Chakwera explained that the support is coming in following various engagements that his administration has had with USAID including one he held in Washington DC with Administrator Samantha Power four months ago.
“Our dialogue today with Ms. Power today at Kamuzu Palace was both to receive the good news and get reaffirmation from the agency of it’s continued support towards attainment of sustainable livelihoods for everyone,” said the president.
According to the president, of the package, US$11.7 million will be channeled towards consolidation of democracy via a project providing expertise in legislature analysis and drafting and support parliamentary oversight actions such as independent inquiries, depositions and public hearing.
Chakwera added that will also implement NextGen, a US$74 million early reading project in over 5,700 public primary schools to support Malawi’s vision for early grade literacy.
The Malawi leader said the country will also get US$46 million support towards National Multi – Sector Nutrition Policy through a five year initiative known as Improving Nutrition Let Them Grow Healthy ( Tiwalere).
“In trying to get us back on track economically, the agency will invest US$35 million subject to appropriations, in a five year project to support Malawi’s economic growth,” he said.
“Am also delighted to learn that the USAID economic support package will complement another upcoming US Government initiative, the Millennium Challenge Account whose compact aims at reducing poverty through economic growth.”