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Announcement: New Commitments from the United States and Major Philanthropies to Bolster Progress in Malawi
8 MINUTE READ
September 20, 2023

New commitments announced at UN General Assembly will support government reform efforts and facilitate improvements to public services as part of USAID’s Democracy Delivers Initiative

Today, at the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) “Democracy Delivers” event on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and USAID Administrator Samantha Power, in partnership with the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, convened philanthropic and private sector partners to invest in Malawi and other countries experiencing democratic openings.

The President of the Republic of Malawi, H.E. Lazarus Chakwera, joined the event alongside leadership from USAID’s first cohort of Democracy Delivers countries to discuss ways to channel new and diverse resources that will support reformers and citizens in their countries who are building democracies that deliver for all. USAID’s Democracy Delivers Initiative, launched in 2022 by Secretary Blinken and Administrator Power, aims to surge support, resources, and attention to countries experiencing moments of democratic opportunity.

At the event, the United States announced new commitments to support Malawi including:

  • Approximately $9.5 million in Development Assistance from USAID to support expansion of the private sector to create jobs, increase incomes, produce more high-value exports, and deliver democratic dividends. USAID/Malawi works in partnership with responsible private sector entities to grow Malawi’s economy by supporting economic diversity and the generation of needed foreign exchange through exports.
  • Approximately $250,000 to support improved debt oversight by the National Assembly of Malawi through USAID’s Parliamentary Support program that works with parliamentary leadership and key finance committees. This investment will help Malawi better address its debt challenges and bolsters the Government of Malawi’s Open Government Partnership Action Plan commitments on transparency and accountability.
  • Through USAID’s Partnerships for Democratic Development, USAID/Malawi will receive up to $7.5 million to provide flexible, multi-year funding to deepen its partnership with Malawi’s democratic reformers for transformative change. These funds will support efforts to assemble stakeholders from across society to overcome public services challenges in health, education, economic growth, and demonstrate to Malawians how democracy delivers reforms for greater opportunities for all.

Major foundations and companies announced new investments to Malawi to support sustainable energy, food security, community justice, locally-led development, maternal health, health systems strengthening, and anti-corruption efforts.

  • The Vodafone Foundation committed $6 million to a new public-private partnership with USAID and the Government of Malawi to bring ‘m-mama’, the emergency transportation system, to Malawi. M-mama is an emergency referral and transportation system, staffed by a trained nurse, through which community drivers can volunteer to take pregnant women to appropriate healthcare facilities when ambulances are not available. This commitment will seed a broader $12 million package to establish m-mama nationwide in Malawi. The system will include clinical assessments of healthcare facility capabilities that are built into the application and which, when combined with a call script will triage a patient’s needs, and provide results via a timely referral to a hospital that can meet the specific needs of the expectant mother or her baby. Once set up, the Government of Malawi can sustain m-mama on an ongoing basis for approximately $350,000 per year – less than the cost of bringing two new ambulances into the health system.
  • As part of an $11.2 million investment from the Mott Foundation in Democracy Delivers countries, Mott’s new grantmaking in Malawi will build the capacity of community justice institutions and support the local development of community foundations that foster just, equitable, and sustainable communities.
  • As part of an up to approximately $28 million investment from The Rockefeller Foundation to Democracy Delivers countries, Malawi will receive funding through the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (Rockefeller’s grantee) for a 20 MW Battery Energy Storage Systems pilot to reduce outages and enable up to 100 MW of renewables and support for an Ag-Energy Program for smallholder farmers. To address food security, The Rockefeller Foundation is also supporting efforts to produce biofortified crops for school meals in Malawi, and funding research to demonstrate the power of the Periodic Table of Food Initiative, focusing in part on whole grain and quinoa varieties in Malawi.
  • The Chandler Foundation committed up to $4 million over three years to strengthen democratic governance and combat corruption in Democracy Delivers countries, which will include resources to support the development and implementation of transparency legislation in Malawi, the Government of Malawi’s establishment of a School of Government, and a new performance management framework for the civil service.
  • Malawi is one of four countries that will be supported by a Skoll Foundation investment of $16.9 million in health systems that will strengthen pandemic response, enhance community level health systems, and seek innovative solutions to health systems challenges which deepen partnerships between communities and Ministries of Health.
  • The UPS Foundation and UPS Healthcare will leverage public-private partnerships, UPS’s global network, and their healthcare logistics expertise to enhance health equity and health system strengthening in Malawi. The UPS Foundation and UPS Healthcare are funding a partnership with Village Reach and Swoop Aero to expand on-demand access to quality health care health through a drone initiative that will scale on-demand delivery to 40 new locations by the end of 2023 and undergo a third-party double-blind evaluation funded by USAID. UPS will also partner with the Ministry of Health and Project CURE in the delivery of up to five ocean containers of donated medical equipment that will supply ten hospitals currently serving over 80,000 patients per month.
  • WINGS will expand its scope of work to Malawi as part of a $1.5 million commitment to six countries to elevate philanthropy as a key partner with governments and civil society actors and contribute to effective localized development funding to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and protect and promote democracy. WINGS will leverage its worldwide network to provide capacity building and technical assistance that catalyzes and unlocks additional resources, improves development outcomes, and optimizes the impact of philanthropy’s contribution to development.

By prioritizing responsiveness to citizen needs and enhancing transparency and accountability, these commitments will strengthen government reform efforts and facilitate improvements to public services, including through inclusive and locally led decision making. In total, philanthropic and private sector partners made commitments totaling over $110 million to support Democracy Delivers countries and the broader goal of galvanizing democratic openings.

USAID and its partners are dedicated to ensuring that democracy delivers for all. Robust evidence links democracy to improved development outcomes. Democracies deliver public goods at higher rates than non-democracies, and they do so more equitably. USAID is calling on all organizations, businesses, and individuals committed to expanding rights and opportunity to join the Democracy Delivers Initiative in thought and action partnerships dedicated to advancing democratic reforms to deliver better lives and livelihoods.

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