United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), with financial support from European Union (EU) handed over 24 4 by 4 Nissan Pathfinder station wagon vehicles to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare and 10 Non State Actors to assist in the implementation of the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Programme. The vehicles were received by the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Ms Anita Kalinde MP on behalf of Malawi Government in a ceremony which was witnessed by representatives from European Union, UNFPA , Government officials and Non State Actors that are assisting the Ministry to implement the programme in the 13 target districts.
Addressing the gathering, the Honourable Minister thanked European Union and United Nations Population Fund for their commitment to support Government efforts towards the advancement of gender equality and equity as a human right for the reduction of GBV, poverty and HIV and AIDS. She hinted that Government is committed to address Gender inequalities as outlined in the Malawi growth and Development Strategy II which prioritizes the promotion of Gender equalities amongst its national priorities. She assured EU and UNFPA that Government will take good care of the vehicles and that measures will be put in place to ensure that the vehicles are used for their intended purpose. “Any vehicle that will be seen loitering around in the streets doing non project related work will be immediately withdrawn.” she said.
On his part, UNFPA Country Representative, Mr. Athanase Nzokirishaka thanked European Union for providing funds that enabled the procurement of vehicles. He echoed the sentiments of the Minister that the vehicles should be exclusively used for the implementation of the GEWE programme. “The vehicles handed over today will be distributed to the District Councils and Non State Actors implementing the programme in the 13 districts as a means of increasing their capacity to address gender inequality and inequity issues in their respective constituencies. In addition, we believe that these vehicles will enhance Gender, Children, Youth and Sports sector coordination, monitoring and reporting both at national and district levels. We also recognize that advocacy and lobbying for gender mainstreaming is important. We therefore believe that these vehicles will be used to support gender mainstreaming activities in the impact sectors.” he said.
Speaking earlier before the handover ceremony, the Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Dr. Mary Shawa urged all beneficiary districts not to personalize the vehicles but ensure that it smoothens the work of all Government departments that are working in the fight against GBV and gender inequalities at district level.