Visit of Joyce Banda, President of Malawi, to Andris Piebalgs
Type: Visit to the Commission
End production: 17/10/2012 First transmission: 17/10/2012
On 17 October 2012, Andris Piebalgs, Member of the EC in charge of Development, received the visit of Joyce Banda, President of Malawi, at the European Commission in Brussels. On this occasion, he signed two agreements which will help Malawi to reach the Millennium Development Goals. The EU will contribute to a new government programme designed to strengthen agricultural productivity and expand the area under irrigation. With this programme, Malawi aims to increase its maize yield by two thirds and almost double household incomes in agriculture. This will contribute to the goal of 6% of annual growth in Malawi.
A second EU contribution will fund cash transfers to extremely poor households to help them out of poverty and hunger. It will make families more resistant to shocks like high food prices, but also improve school enrolment and health. This EU support is expected to provide benefits to a total of 83,000 households.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of Joyce Banda, President of Malawi, to her meeting with Andris Piebalgs, Member of the EC in charge of Development, at the European Commission in Brussels
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||Joyce Banda (2 shots)
||Arrival of Andris Piebalgs to the meeting at the European Commission in Brussels
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||Handshake between Andris Piebalgs and Joyce Banda (2 shots)
||Andris Piebalgs signing the two financial agreements (4 shots)
||Joyce Banda and Andris Piebalgs shaking hands
||Soundbite by Andris Piebalgs (in ENGLISH): The signature of two financing agreements today is another milestone in the relationship of the EU with the Republic of Malawi. I am aware of challenging reforms that the country has recently undergone. With this contribution, the EU would like to convey a signal of our willingness to support the government and, in particular, to the people who are the most affected. In order to achieve this objective, 63 millions Euros of EU funding will support two interlinked government initiatives aiming at increasing agriculture productivity and diversification and expanding the area under irrigation; the Agriculture Sector Wide Approach (ASWAp) and support to irrigation through among others with the Green Belt Initiative (GBI).
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||Soundbite by Joyce Banda (in ENGLISH): Thank you very much. I wish to take this opportunity first for being invited to come and attend the EU Development Days and, particularly, to have had the opportunity today to speak on the day when we are discussing the eradication of poverty. The EU has been a partner of Malawi for a long time and I would like to take this singular opportunity to thank Andris Piebalgs for this support that goes both towards agriculture and cash transfer. I took over as President of Malawi on 7 April 2012, at a time when the economy in Malawi was near to collapse. And I had to take some steps, make major board decisions. Decisions that in a normal situation would have cost me my political career. But it was necessary for us to take those board steps to go back and get back on course with International Monetary Fund (IMF) and draw up an economic recovery program in two phases, the first phase to correct the situation as it was. I am grateful because some of this money that goes towards cash transfer will help cushion the shock that the devaluation has brought apart. But I also wish to assure you, Mister Piebalgs, that in drawing up our mid-term and long-term economic recovery plan, we have picked out five sectors namely, mining, energy, tourism, infrastructure and agriculture. Those sectors have been picked for the potential they have to create jobs and to create worth. And this at the half of the support goes towards more scale agriculture as well as developing our Green Belt but all in the agriculture sector, I am sure that it comes at a time when Malawi is energised, Malawi has hope for a better future. And I can ensure you that the fund will go to the projects they were intended for. I would like to thank you for your support and I hope we can continue this partnership, it was a pleasure for me to meet you. Once again thank you.