By Elia Chibwe MANA

Germany and Malawi governments have signed a bilateral agreement for a EUR 16 million (about K30 billion) additional financing through KFW to implement reproductive health activities phase III under the N’zatonse Programme.

Speaking during the signing ceremony on Monday, German Ambassador to Malawi Ute Konig said Germany is committed to continue supporting Malawi to increase accessibility of contraceptives to women in rural areas following strides made by Malawi on contraceptive uptake.

“We noticed that women in Malawi are very good in uptake of contraceptives as compared to all Sub Saharan countries. So, we see success of our joint cooperation and that is why we have decided to continue this cooperation with additional funding of EUR 16 billion we are signing today,” Konig said.

She said access and use of contraception has helped Malawi improve women’s health and socio-economic wellbeing.

Minister of Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, hailed government of Germany for the financial support which, she said, is going to address challenges and issues in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) especially on women and adolescents.

“Let me express our sincere gratitude to the people and government of Germany for the support given to us towards the health sector mainly in SRHR among women and adolescents,” Chiponda said.

She said the funding is going to strengthen provision of services in rural areas where the Ministry is going to work with PSI and some other implementing partners.

Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Simplex Chithyola Banda, gave an assurance that government will utilise the resources for its intended purpose.

“There is the need for accountability and transparency in utilisation of resources. From now, we want to regain donor confidence that any intervention will be used for the intended purpose.

“The programme will improve the health of young people because they will be able to access sexual reproductive health services and will also assist reduce overpopulation in the country,” said Chithyola Banda said.

Germany, through KFW, has been supporting N’zatonse program since 2013 whose target group includes women and men of reproductive age in hard to reach areas, with a special focus on youth.

Cumulatively, between 2013 until this new phase III, Germany has committed EUR70.5 million towards the N’zatonse programme.

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