Around 50.7% of Malawians are living below the poverty line, with 25% living in extreme poverty (IHS 2010). The indication that Malawi will not be able to meet four of the eight MDGs only points to the fact that Malawi’s efforts towards eradication of extreme poverty have not been successful during the MDGs implementation period. With one month remaining before expiry of the MDGs, it is clear that Malawians have to live with harsh realities of extreme poverty. The worsening poverty situation and climate change effects provide a need for better social protection programmes. Unfortunately, the current social protection programmes by government and other development stakeholders do not reach out to all the 50.7% of the population. Targeting is being done in communities where almost all the people are in need of social protection.
The Malawi Platform for Social Protection conducted a training in social protection. 34 representatives from key civil society organizations were trained in Social Protection by a consultant. The training focused on various aspects of social protection (i.e. what constitutes social protection, the policy framework for social protection, current social protection gaps at national and global levels, CSO involvement in social protection and relevant recommendations), how CSOs can engage duty bearers on same, and how CSOs can align their programmes to complement government efforts in the implementation of social protection interventions.
The activity was meant to equip CSOs with adequate knowledge on social protection issues in Malawi, and enable them effectively engage duty bearers at both district and national levels. An important outcome from the meeting was commitment from various social protection stakeholders to work together by sharing notes on various interventions. The harmonized approach will result in improved coordination of social protection activities at national level and create room for better engagement between CSOs and other stakeholders. A copy of the report is available at the Secretariat and can be availed upon request.
CONGOMA hosts the Malawi Platform for Social Protection. For more information on its activities, please contact the Secretariat.