The shortage of Malawian women represented in CSO activities is a critical issue which will be addressed by WPHF-supported capacity building initiatives.

The Added Value of the WPHF

In Malawi, the WPHF aims to establish and support grassroots women’s civil society networks with enhanced capacities to advocate, initiate and participate in gender sensitive humanitarian action within disaster-affected areas and refugee/IDP camps, prioritizing skills transfers and resilience building for lost livelihoods.

Background

Malawi faces a number of complex challenges to its long-term stability and sustainable development. The country’s weather related crises—coupled with its weak economic profile—has resulted in a vicious cycle of food insecurity and malnutrition of its population, with devastating consequences on the welfare of already resource poor women, men, children and their families.

The 2015 floods affected more than one million and displaced close to 230,000 people, a majority of whom lost their livelihoods. Early warning systems indicators show that there could be emerging land conflicts as a result of widespread internal displacement if nothing is done.

The Issue

The sudden influx of refugees from the political conflict in neighboring Mozambique is driving a deeper humanitarian crisis, exerting additional pressure on Malawi’s vulnerable communities. The devastating effects from the country’s ongoing food crisis could have negative long and short-term consequences on the peaceful co-existence between host and refugee communities.

The inherent weaknesses of women’s associations make it difficult for women to consolidate their voices, while women and girls affected by crises have less access to services and weak referral and complaint pathways within districts.

Complementarities & Partnerships

In Malawi, there are very few local women’s organizations that are empowered or capacitated to effectively engage in conflict prevention, peacebuilding and humanitarian response. Despite women bearing the brunt of violence and natural disasters, both the recently created National Peace Architecture and humanitarian response processes have seen less than optimal levels of women’s participation. There is demonstrable need for enhanced programmatic planning and delivery as technical expertise is lacking in both rural and urban areas. The shortage of women represented in CSO activities is a critical issue which will be addressed by WPHF-supported capacity building initiatives.

In Malawi, the WPHF will specifically focus on:

  1. Enhancing the capacity of women’s organizations to influence and take part in decision-making on disaster planning and response efforts, and ensuring women’s representation in civil protection committees at all levels, including in camp management.
  2. Ensuring that women, girls and families affected by disaster and conflict recover lost livelihoods, build effective coping mechanisms and build awareness on women’s leadership, their vital contributions to humanitarian action, and their centrality to peacebuilding in camp settings and food-insecure communities.

Funding Needs

$2,000,000 over 2 years

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