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Malawi celebrates World Population Day 2015 - “supporting vulnerable populations in emergencies”

Lilongwe - The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Mrs. Patricia Kaliati led the national event of commemorating the 2015 World Population Day in Salima on 11th July. While the Global theme was 'Vulnerable population in Emergencies", Malawi celebrated the day under the theme "supporting vulnerable populations in emergencies". In her remarks, the Minister encouraged men to support women at all times emphasizing that their support is highly required during emergencies. She also informed the gathering that emergencies are not only floods as experienced by Malawi in early 2015 but they may include hail storms and fire and other disasters. "Government of Malawi is committed to support people affected by different emergencies, disasters and crises at all times and we will not let our people especially women and girls suffer in such circumstances, she said.

In her remarks, the UNFPA Representative, Violet Kakyomya delivered the World population day message with emphasis on prioritizing women and girls sexual and reproductive health needs during emergencies. "Honourable Ministers, ladies and gentlemen, during emergencies and crises, efforts to secure the safety and ensure the dignity and health of women and girls can promote the wellbeing of families and communities. It is for this reason that I would like to emphasize the importance of always making sure that the rights and needs of women and girls are at the forefront of humanitarian responses. This is necessary to maintain their dignity and restore safety and access to sexual and reproductive health, including services for safe pregnancy and child birth, as well as protection from gender violence, she said. ". She also commended Government and all partners that worked with UNFPA during the floods because they realised some important results such as no maternal death during all the time of the floods across all the affected districts.

Also in attendance were the members of Kandulu community that was affected by the floods in Salima and they gave the testimonies on the experience they had during the recent floods. Member of Parliament for the area, Mr. Felix Jumbe encouraged the community to practice family planning in order to slow down the current population growth because it is a catalyst to some emergencies. "Our population is fast growing more than our economy and it also affecting our environment and this is not good for our country', he said.

The event was celebrated in Salima, a district that was affected by the floods early 2015 and the event was largely patronized Salima community and was characterised by various displays from non-governmental organizations, Government, some UN Malawi agencies and also traditional dances and speeches.