Malawi secures $4.4 million in funding from the Global Environment Facility towards building climate resilience in the lake Chilwa Basin

June 13, 2023
Malawi secures $4.4 million in funding from the Global Environment Facility

Lilongwe, June 2023 – On June 9, 2023, the Global Environment Facility has approved $US4.4 million in funding for a project that aims at reducing the impacts of climate change on vulnerable rural communities in Malawi’s Lake Chilwa basin.  
Supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the five-year project, known as ‘TRANSFORM’, aims to enhance the resilience of vulnerable rural communities by bolstering their natural, human, and economic adaptive capacities  by catalyzing a shift away from maladaptive practices that degrade natural resources and simultaneously reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Around 80,000 people in Machinga, Zomba, and Phalombe districts are to directly benefit from this project. 
"Climate change poses a major threat to Malawi’s development – and in fact, on the ground, many Malawians are already struggling because of its impacts," said Minister for Natural Resources and Climate Change, Hon. Michael Usi. "This project focuses on building resilience in one of our most vulnerable regions, the Lake Chilwa Basin. We look forward to working with our partners at the UN Development Programme and others to ensure it delivers tangible benefits to communities and helps us build a better future." 
Communities in the Lake Chilwa basin rely on local natural resources – forests, fisheries, wetlands – for their livelihoods. However, rising temperatures, changes in rainfall, and more frequent and intense droughts and floods are reducing water levels of the lake, affecting fish populations, and disrupting local farming. The changes are pushing households beyond their traditional coping mechanisms and leading to practices that further exacerbate land degradation (for example, expanding fields to offset declining harvests). 
With a strong focus on nature-based solutions, the project will benefit people and the ecosystems by strengthening livelihoods and scaling-up finance for more sustainable, climate-resilient enterprises. Specifically, the project will:

• Enhance the capacity of communities and institutions to plan, implement and monitor ecosystem-based adaptation and natural resource management (for example, wetland restoration); 
• Improve small-scale producers’ access to lucrative markets for climate-resilient products and value chains (for example, climate-resilient agriculture products, sustainable briquettes, and eco-tourism), as well as improve access to microfinance, social protection, and insurance; and 
• Facilitate the adoption of alternative climate-resilient livelihoods (10,000 households will be supported to take up alternative livelihoods, such as producing sustainable briquettes and fisheries).

“We are delighted to have supported Malawi in securing funding for this important new project and look forward to supporting its implementation,” said UNDP Resident Representative in Malawi, Mr. Shigeki Komatsubara. 
“UNDP is a long-standing partner of the Government, having been in-country since 1964, and we remain dedicated to helping the government secure a more prosperous, inclusive, low-carbon future. This includes advancing adaptation, increasing access to (renewable) energy in remote areas, climate-informed policy development and planning, and, ultimately raising – and realizing – the country’s climate targets under the global Paris Agreement."

The project's overall funding amounts to US$25,867,210. This includes a grant of USD 4,416,210 from the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and cash co-financing of US$1,750,000 to be managed by UNDP. Additionally, an in-kind contribution of US$250,000 will be utilized to support UNDP's oversight responsibilities. Furthermore, the Government's Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change, Ministry of Finance, and District Councils, as the accountable entities, have committed an additional co-financing of US$19,451,000.

Link to project page: 
For more information, contact UNDP Malawi Communications

About UNDP 
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN's global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience, and resources to help people build better lives. The UNDP works in over 170 countries and territories, helping to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities, and build resilience to crises and shocks.  Globally UNDP remains the largest service provider in the UN system on climate change adaptation and since 2002 has successfully completed 151 adaptation projects across 74 countries, including 41 Least Developed Countries. 
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