USAID/Malawi supports institutional strengthening and increased citizen participation in decision-making. USAID provided significant assistance during Malawi’s May 2014 tripartite election for President, Parliament, and Local Councilors—the first election of its kind in Malawi’s history. By raising awareness of electoral rights and processes, USAID’s Democracy and Governance office created a better and more informed electorate, ensured fewer irregularities during the election process, and spurred higher voter turnout. Activities increased citizens’ opportunities for engaging with government officials and therefore cultivated democratic legitimacy and inclusion. It had been nearly 10 years since local leaders were in office, and these elections presented a unique opportunity to reintroduce elected governance at the district level. Therefore, post-election, USAID focused on strengthening citizens’ participation in local government decision-making. USAID cultivates a positive working relationship between the newly elected local councilors and citizens’ groups in targeted districts and helps local civil society organizations (CSOs) operate better.
Nearly one million OVC have lost one or both parents to AIDS. According to UNICEF, one-fifth of Malawian households are looking after OVC, and many of these households are headed by girls, women and elderly women. The majority of families caring for OVC in Malawi lack the means to provide basic necessities. OVC very often lack parental care and proper nutrition, have inadequate shelter and limited access to education and healthcare, and are at an increased risk of exploitation and abuse.
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Last updated: November 06, 2015