LILONGWE (Malawi NewsNow)-President Peter Mutharika has informed the United Nations that 6.5 million of his people will this year require food assistance.
Before the General Assembly debate in New York on Tuesday, President Mutharika said Malawi was seeking external support from cooperating partners and multilateral institutions within and outside the UN system to the tune of US $246 million to deal with food shortage. He said Malawi had in the last two years suffered effects of climate change.
“In 2015, we experienced the worst forms of floods which affected over half of the country. In 2016 the opposite happened and drought scorched half of the country again. This problem has brought us hunger as we could not produce enough food for two consecutive years,” President Mutharika said.
“As I stand here, 6.5 million people will this year require food assistance. My Government is doing all it can to provide for these people…We still need US $246 million for this cause. When we speak of addressing the climate change problem, let us remember that there are real souls suffering the effects out there. We, as a country will do our duty to humanity. We will sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, here at the UN Headquarters and commit my Government towards ratification and domestication of this crucial agreement.”
He said the mission of every generation should be to leave the world a better place for next generations.
“For us, our mission is faced with mountains of challenges,” President Mutharika said. “Our world stands in great peril. Innocent souls continue suffering in the tragedy of wars. Many lives are maimed, mutilated and curtailed. Political instability continues to shake foundations of our dreams. Conflicts have dispersed communities from their homes and sent them into endless migration. We are caught in endless cycles of suffering violence, terrorism, radicalization, extremism, abductions and human trafficking. This is a story we cannot tell the next generations with any pride.
“Our world is living a story of indignity! Our planet lives in great danger. Everywhere, global warming threatens our existence with hurricanes, cyclones, earthquakes, wildfires, extreme flooding and droughts. These dangers threaten fragile economies of Africa and the Third World everywhere. Africa, and the rest of the developing world, is suffering from dehumanizing poverty; the pain of hunger; insufferable diseases; disgraceful inequalities; and unjustifiable gender imbalances. Most of these are tragedies and challenges of our own creation. And the solutions lie in our hands. The choices for human destiny, world over, lie with us in this Assembly. These challenges must be resolved by us or nobody else. It must be here, or nowhere else! It must be now, or never!”
He said Malawi would do its part towards the realisation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
President Mutharika said Malawi continued to guarantee basic human rights because it believed progress was only possible with people who were free.
“We offer every care to our brothers and sisters who seek refuge in Malawi because we have a duty to humanity,” said President Mutharika. “We ensure peace, stability, security and tranquility for everyone because we must create an environment for progress. We govern with the principles of democracy and the rule of law because humanity is only safe when everybody is accountable to someone else. And we pledge to continue living in peace with all of our neighbours because we value peace and harmony.