JOHANNESBURG, 29 January (IRIN)
- The African Development Fund (ADF) has approved the release of funding
totalling US $10.5 million to increase utilisation of fisheries resources
in five Lake Malawi districts.
Malawi is one of six countries in Southern Africa experiencing a severe food shortage brought on by drought, failed government policy and the impact of HIV/AIDS.
The ADF funding consists of a US $9 million loan and a US $1.1 million grant, the organisation said in a statement on Wednesday.
"The project objective is to improve household income by enhancing the management and utilisation of fisheries resources in five Lake Malawi littoral districts [situated along the shore] - Likoma, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Salima, and Mangochi," an ADF statement said.
The funding would finance the development of fish production and marketing.
"[This would] also help establish a credit fund for the rehabilitation of old wooden plank boats and procurement of new fisheries equipment. Moreover, the project will help strengthen individual and institutional capacities of fishers, fish processors and marketers, and the Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs," the ADF noted.
It is hoped that the project would contribute to poverty alleviation and improve food security in Malawi through the development of artisanal fisheries.
Aid agencies say about 3.3 million Malawians require food aid until the next harvest. Household vulnerability has increased as HIV/AIDS impacts on household incomes and people's ability to sustain themselves through crop production.
The ADF says its funding of the fisheries project would "help improve the standards of living of 7,640 households by providing them with employment and income opportunities".
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