Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranked 166 out of 177 countries (UNDP ranking).
In reality that means half the population lives below the poverty line, surviving on about 25p per day. It means one in five people can’t provide enough food for themselves.
Water scarcity and drought is a major and growing problem in Malawi. Most agricultural production is rain-fed, leaving small- and medium-scale farmers particularly vulnerable to drought. Less than two million hectares of the original four million hectares of forest cover remains. Ongoing deforestation and farming on steep slopes have led to significant soil erosion and the loss of millions of tonnes of valuable and productive topsoil.
Progressio is therefore working closely with local environment and farming organisations to help build sustainable livelihoods for small-scale farmers. We are support people by introducing sustainable farming methods so that farmers can cope better with drought and can grow a range of crops to eat and sell. We also encourage finding ways of marketing and selling what small-scale farmers grow, so they can earn an income.
Another major challenge Malawi faces today are HIV and AIDS. One in seven 15-49 year-olds are living with HIV – one of the highest prevalence rates in the world. There are around 100,000 children living with HIV and a further 250,000 children orphaned by AIDS. Progressio is backing up Malawi’s efforts to tackle the epidemic and its consequences by bringing in its expertise in this area.
Our projects also focus on enabling more people from poor and marginalised communities to participate in decision-making processes.
Malawi has a nascent democracy that needs nurturing. We will draw on our wide experience of working with civil society organisations in other countries to help organisations in Malawi – including those representing people and communities most affected by poverty and exclusion – achieve changes that will improve the lives of the most vulnerable and marginalised groups of people in Malawi.
Malawi is Progressio’s newest country programme – we only started working here in 2007.
Map of Malawi
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