Funding will help some of the world’s poorest people

The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund is to benefit from £378,000 in Scottish Government funding for its work in Malawi

First Minister Alex Salmond has marked the bicentenary of Scottish missionary and explorer Dr David Livingstone by announcing funding for aid projects in Malawi focusing on healthcare and growing the economy. The announcement, made in Livingstone’s birthplace of Blantyre, comes as Scotland is visited by Her Excellency, Dr Joyce Banda, the President of the Republic of Malawi

SCIAF will receive £378,000 from a total of £4,920,106 allocated to 15 projects in Malawi run by Scottish-based organisations including Oxfam and the University of Edinburgh.

The funding will help deliver the Mangochi Livelihoods and Economic Recovery Project from 2013-2016

Malawi currently faces a range of serious challenges which have resulted in an economic slowdown, and increased poverty and hunger. The Malawi Government has acted to launch an Economic Recovery Plan to improve growth and development, which includes development of agricultural production for increased food security.

This project aims to support 3,000 households in Mangochi to increase their income and food security by learning to grow their own food and selling it on for additional income. This supports government efforts to increase the productivity of the small producer agriculture sector. Overall, it aims to create an the opportunity for some of the world’s poorest people to improve their living conditions and participate in the country’s development.

SCIAF Director Patricia Chalé welcomed the announcement: “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.”

• Full story at SCIAF.