China-Malawi-UNDP Cooperation: Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Project

The project is one component of the China – Africa – UNDP Cooperation Programme started in December 2013. It is integrated into the Government of Malawi’s disaster risk reduction policy and the UNDP-supported Disaster Risk management Support Programme and follows the Small Grant Scheme (SGS) modalities. The project helps support poor and vulnerable communities located within Malawi’s 15 identified disaster-prone districts and reduce social, environmental and economic losses resulting from natural disasters and especially flooding. This is achieved by piloting small grant projects proposed by non-governmental organizations and local-level community groups in rural Malawi communities. The project is implemented to enhance existing and/or to introduce these communities to technically feasible, locally available, and easily implementable environmentally and socially sustainable natural disaster management solutions. This project reflects China’s efforts to further deepen and broaden its cooperation with other developing countries according to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between China and UNDP in September 2010.


The project aims to increase community resilience to flooding in disaster-prone rural Malawi. The goal is to introduce rural communities to technically feasible, locally available, and easily implementable disaster risk management solutions. With the view that natural disaster management should be combined with agricultural development, these solutions can improve food security and livelihoods, facilitate local economic development, and strengthen disaster recovery.


Outcome 1: Targeted vulnerable households are resilient (capable of meeting their basic needs and withstanding shocks) by 2016.

  • The trilateral cooperation constructed four evacuation centers, a dike and riverbank protection for a flooding hotspot covering 570 meters, and two check dams to control floods. Each evacuation center accommodates 200 to 300 people and has separate rooms for men and women. A storage room is also fully stocked with food, water buckets, kitchen utensils, and education materials that provide information on emergency response and recovery. The evacuation centers also have separate indoor kitchens located close to the main building to ensure easy accessibility. Solar panels are also installed on the roofs to power all the rooms and outside areas; an efficient and renewable solution to meet the energy needs of the centers during disasters. In total, the projects directly benefited more than 23,000 people.

Outcome 2: Improved management of the environment, natural resources and climate change for sustainable development at national and district level by 2016.

  • Disaster risk management mainstreamed in policies, development plans and programmes at the national level and implemented in 15 disaster-prone districts;
  • Data and knowledge on the impact of natural disaster collected and made accessible to decision makers and government, the private sector and civil society;
  • Coordination mechanisms and implementation arrangements for Disaster Risk Management/Disaster Risk Reduction established and used at the national level and disaster-prone districts.