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One of the cash transfer distribution points in Karonga. Photo: RNEOne of the cash transfer distribution points in Karonga. Photo: RNE

The Royal Norwegian Embassy visits Cash Based Programme sites and attends the official Launching of the Amphitheatre at Karonga Museum

Last updated: 18.03.2016 // From 18- 21 February, Programme Officer Augustine Chikuni and the Embassy’s Intern Andrea Furuli visited cash transfer distribution points in Kasungu and Karonga districts to follow up on the Cash Based Response programme. The programme is supported by DFiD, Irish Aid, SC Italy and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The team took advantage of being in Karonga and also attended the launching of the amphitheatre at the Karonga Museum.

Photos from the different cash transfer distribution point in Kasungu and Karonga and the lauching of the amphitheatre at the Karonga Museum

The Cash Based Response Programme in Kasungu and Karonga

Agriculture, food security and climate change is one of the areas of Norway’s development cooperation with Malawi. Malawi has been experiencing recurrent food crises over the past decades. This situation of recurrent food insecurity is the result of a number of interrelated economic, environmental and policy-related factors. While there is a need to develop long-term solutions to these complex challenges, there is also an immediate and critical need to reach out to families who are vulnerable to food insecurity in the lean season. In order to address the latter, the “INGO Cash Based Response Programme” (CBR) was established in October 2015 and will continue to October 2016. The programme was launched by Norwegian Ambassador Kikkan Haugen in Mulanje last November. United Kingdom, Ireland and Italy in addition to Norway fund this project through a consortium of International NGOs (Oxfam, GOAL Malawi, Concern Worldwide, WFP Concern Universal and Save the Children). 

The programme whose purpose is to improve food security and resilience of 82,129 targeted households is being implemented in 8 districts of Malawi. The Embassy visited two cash transfer distribution points in Kasungu and Karonga operated by Oxfam and WFP respectively. Based on feedback from beneficiaries and cash distribution monitors, it is clear that most beneficiaries preferred cash instead of food rations. That said, some preferred food rations since maize was in short supply in most ADMARC markets (the parastatal depots). Although the cash transfer is reflecting the cost of food rations, 50kg of maize, 6kg of legume and 2 liters of cooking oil, the beneficiaries are free to use the money not only on food but also at other priorities. For instance, beneficiaries may choose to use the cash on children’s education materials, on Village Savings and Loans schemes etc.

The launch of the Karonga Museum Amphitheatre

Another important area of the Embassy supports is culture, including culture as an arena for freedom of expression and dialogue. One of the initiatives funded by Norway is the construction of the  Amphitheatre at Karonga Museum in Northern Malawi. The Amphitheatre will be put in good use for entertainment such as drama, dance performances and music. The Karonga Museum promotes cultural and natural heritage of the Northern Malawi with focus on educational development and research. 

The Amphitheatre was launched by the Minister for Culture, Youth and Sports, Grace Chiumia, on Sunday 21st February 2016. In her speech, she highlighted the necessity to preserve the Malawian culture and educate the youths of Malawi about their cultural heritage. Other keynote speakers were the Chair of the Uraha Foundation, Mr. Mwakasungula, Board Chair of COSOMA Mr. Charles Senetra and the Manager of the Karonga Museum, Mr. Mwagomba. They were all grateful for the support to the construction of the Amphitheatre. In addition to the speakers, the launching ceremony consisted of several performances of drama, music and dance, which gave the audience an insight to the cultural heritage of Northern Malawi.

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