Africare’s History in Malawi

Africare was invited to come and work in Malawi in 1985.  On November 11, 1985, Africare and the Government of Malawi signed a Memorandum of Understanding.  Africare is a registered international non-governmental, non-profit organization in Malawi and is a member of the Council of Non-government Organizations in Malawi (CONGOMA). Since 1985, Africare has worked in all three of Malawi’s Regions and in 26 of Malawi’s 28 districts.  At present, Africare/Malawi’s head office is in the Capital City – Lilongwe and field staff stationed in Mulanje, Ntcheu, Dowa and Mchinji districts.  Africare has developed very fruitful partnerships with a wide variety of multi- and bilateral organizations that includes US Agency for International Development, International Fund for Agriculture Development, African Development Bank, World Bank, World Food Program, European Union, just to mention but a few.

Africare- Malawi Today

Africare Malawi is currently working individually and in consortiums with other international NGOs and has provided development and relief assistance in the areas of food security, maternal and child health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS education, capacity building of district level officials, child survival, and water and sanitation projects.  Through the many activities implemented since its inception in Malawi, the organization has assisted more than 500,000 families.

Country Profile: Malawi

REGION: Southern Africa
POPULATION: 13,066,320
LAND AREA: 118,484 sq km (The size of Pennsylvania)

A landlocked country, Malawi’s geography ranges from wetlands and lakes to mountains and forests. Its most prominent physical feature is the 580-kilometer-long Lake Malawi. And its national parks and game reserves are popular tourist destinations. The country’s economy is predominantly agricultural, with agriculture accounting for about one-third of GDP and four-fifths of export revenues. Some 85 percent of Malawi’s people live in rural areas; and most are subsistence farmers, trapped in poverty. Despite the predominance of agriculture, the country has required thousands of tons of food aid annually in recent years ― as farmers have been battered by natural disasters ranging from drought to heavy rainfall. Rapid population growth has added to the country’s stresses. Malawi also faces high rates of HIV/AIDS prevalence, claiming lives, limiting productivity and generally straining the nation’s very limited resources. Malawi is one of the least developed countries in the world.

Country Stats

Life expectancy: 47.3 years (USA: 77.9)

Under-5 child mortality: 122/ 1,000 live births (USA: 7/1,000)

HIV prevalence, ages 15-49: 14% (USA: [0.4 – 1.0]%)

Physicians per 40,000 people: 1

People undernourished: 33% (USA: 0%)

People with access to safe drinking water: 73% (USA: 100%)

Adult literacy: 69% (USA: 99%)

Annual income, one way to look at it (GDP per capita, PPP US$): $667 (USA: $41,890)

Annual income, another way to look at it (GDP per capita): $161 (USA: $41,890)

People living on less than $1 a day: 20.8% (USA: 0%)

(HIV prevalence statistics, UNAIDS. All other statistics, 2007/2008 Human Development Report, UNDP)