Govt to give €1m to UN Malawi appeal

The Government today pledged €1m to the United Nations Appeal for Malawi.

Minister of State Conor Lenihan announced the move, which takes Ireland’s spending on emergency and recovery operations worldwide this year to more than €66m.

Mr Lenihan said the money would help tackle immediate food needs and address the growing food crisis through the provision of seed and fertiliser to small holder farmers in time for the planting season in October-November.

“We have to anticipate where the crises are in food security and supply. The Secretary General has appealed to donors to tackle the growing food crisis in Southern Africa and this contribution is part of our overall response to that call,” he said.

“By providing this early assistance to Malawi, we are hoping to increase yields and offset the impact of recent droughts.

“With the example of Niger so fresh in our minds, we have to learn the lesson that early intervention is far less costly both financially and in human suffering than addressing a later famine situation.”

Mr Lenihan said the south eastern African country suffers from a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and chronic poverty.

“We have to break the cycle of recurrent crises,” he said.

“That means tackling the root causes of food insecurity, one of the greatest obstacles to poverty reduction.

“Our support for this appeal is also an affirmation of the vigorous efforts of the Government of Malawi to tackle the crisis.”

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