President Lazarus Chakwera has held bilateral discussions with United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres whom he engaged on the devastating impact of Cyclone Freddy on people’s lives and infrastructure.
The President, who met the UN chief on the sidelines of the 78th UN General Assembly (Unga) Conference in New York, USA, appealed to the UN member States for more financial support towards post cyclone recovery.
He also emphasised the need for international financial institutions to consider debt cancellation for the Least Developed Countries (LDC) towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, a message he also delivered in his speech at Unga on September 21.
During the meeting, Chakwera took pride that the country was on track to end hunger and safeguard good health, but regretted that progress has been achieved only on five out of 17 goals.
He said: “We need urgent support in building resilience to inoculate our economy against the adverse effects of shocks.”
In the past year, Malawi was hit by multiple crises of cholera, droughts and floods induced by Cyclone Freddy, especially in the Southern Region.
Guterres assured the President of the UN’s full support in all areas of development to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
In an interview on Saturday after the meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nancy Tembo told journalists that Chakwera’s meeting with the UN chief demonstrated commitment to strengthen Malawi’s relationship with the UN.
After the meeting, Chakwera visited Rutgers University where Malawi secured $100 million (about K113 billion) to help 1 000 Malawian science, technology, engineering and mathematics students in the United States of America.
The programme provides a chance to build the future for the youth by harnessing science and technology at tertiary level.
Chakwera also held bilateral discussions with Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte.