UNDP Assistant Secretary General and Director of the UNDP Crisis Response Unit, Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu visited Malawi from March 22 to March 25th, 2015. The purpose of the mission was to appreciate the situation on the ground following the disaster that Malawi experienced.
During her visit, Ms. Nakamitsu held meetings with senior government officials, including the Right Honourable Vice President, His Excellency Saulosi Chilima, Development Partners, INGOs and the United Nations Country Team.
On 24th March Ms. Nakamitsu visited Balaka District - one of the districts which were flooded - where she viewed the extent of the flood damage and resilience at three Sustainable Land Management (SLM) project sites respectively. The aim of the site visit was to afford her an opportunity to witness the impacts of the incessant rains on the ground. Balaka’s SLM interventions are a shining example of how sound management of the environment can help mitigate the impact of the changes in weather patterns. While in Balaka, Ms. Nakamitsu presented some tree seedlings to the community of Ndenga Village and planted a tree as well as giving 500 seedlings to Mkweta village.
Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu said unless development is risk informed, it will not be sustainable.She said this during the visit after attending the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) in Sendai, Japan which was also attended by Malawian delegates.
She said countries need to make investments before disaster hits to minimise consequences of the disaster
In Malawi, UNDP supports the Government in the areas of disaster risk management, environment and natural resources management, environment and natural resources management, climate change (mitigation and adaptation) and energy covers fifteen disaster-prone vulnerable districts. Through this support, issues of disaster risk management, climate change, sustainable land and sustainable energy management, poverty and environment linkages are mainstreamed in government development plans and programs. The support also extends to capacity development in coordination and in data and information management. In 2015, the environment portfolio alone has an allocation of over USD8.8 million - the highest in the country office - with over USD4.5 million with contributions from the GEF trust fund, FICA and the Chinese and Japanese governments and UNEP. The size indicates the importance which UNDP gives to sound management of the natural resources and to preparedness, risk reduction and resilience building.