Position Paper

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Position Paper

Post  Feldman on Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:17 pm

Genesis Ortega
Topic Area B: Ending World Hunger
Malawi
Moravian College

Hunger is a fairly prevalent issue in the country of Malawi. Out of the 15 million people that populate Malawi, 65% are below the poverty line. It is one of the world’s least developed and most densely populated countries; 85% of the population lives in rural areas. Malnutrition in Malawi is widespread and severe. Agriculture accounts for more than one-third of the GDP of Malawi and 90% of export revenues. Malawi, however, seems to use up its stores of food before the next season’s crops are ready to be harvested. Malawi has transportation problems with neighboring countries, also caused by flooding in those regions, which delays the very much needed shipments of food for long periods of time. Yet, the issue of hunger is one of the many major problems that Malawi faces. The high spread of HIV/AIDS and population growth only makes hunger an even harder to deal with. Most of the government expenditures are focused on HIV/AIDS, forcing the need for outside sources to help mitigate this issue. The government of Malawi seeks help through the World Food Program and the United Nations Development Program on intervention plans. Solving hunger would allow the people of Malawi to focus seriously on education. The bodies of the children in Malawi are in hunger mode, they lack the capacity to focus on learning. The human body tends to shut down learning and focus capabilities when it lacks nutrition. Solving hunger would also improve Malawi’s economy, in such a way that the labor force would increase; also increasing citizens’ income and spending.
Malawi has participated in numerous organizations and agreements that have the intention to alleviate world hunger. In 2000, Malawi gathered at the United Nations in New York and adopted Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs are intended to provoke national initiatives and strategies geared towards alleviating poverty and improving the standard of living of the poorest of the poor throughout the world. The first of Malawi’s MDGs is to eradicate extreme poverty. Malawi’s first target is to halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than less than one dollar a day. Its second target is to halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger. Malawi has also participated in the United Nations World Food Program and the United Nations Development Program. Malawi depends on the economic assistance from the IMF, the World Bank, the European Union, the African Development Bank, UN organizations and individual donor nations. These countries include the US, Canada, Germany, Iceland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Ireland and the UK. In 2005, the president of Malawi signed a 3 year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility worth $56 million with the IMF. In 2006, Malawi was approved for relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program. In December 2007, the US granted Malawi eligibility status to receive financial support within the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) initiative.
Malawi supports increasing funds and awareness to help diminish hunger. Malawi has been part of numerous of the programs with the goal to end world hunger. Malawi supports the majority, if not all of these programs. Malawi’s transition from a one-party state to a multi-party democracy in 2005, under the presidency of Bingu wa MUTHARIKA has strengthened ties with the U.S. and Western countries. As a result, he has been able to achieve success in resolving many of the problems in Malawi. Malawi is very willing to assist directly with any proposed solutions, since it is certain the Western countries and the U.S. genuinely want to help them. It also recognizes that it needs to find a solution to hunger since it is becoming a bigger and bigger issue in its country every day.
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Genesis Ortega
Topic Area A: Rights of Refugees
Malawi
Moravian College

At the end of 2008, Malawi hosted around 11,600 refugees. These refugees were mostly from Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi. Malawi has been seen as a haven for refugees from other African countries, including Mozambique and Rwanda, since 1985. The UNHCR began working with Malawi in 1986, when Malawi received an influx of 1.2 million Mozambique refugees. Currently, the government of Malawi operates only one refugee camp, which is Dzaleka. Dzaleka is a refugee camp that no longer receives new arrivals and has a population of about 5,000 people. UNHCR and the WFP provide rations and non-food items to refugees in Dzaleka camp including construction material to build their own houses in the camp. UNHCR and the Government jointly fund a health clinic in the camp that serves refugees and the surrounding community. Jesuit Refugee Services operates one primary and one secondary school in the camp, serving both refugees and locals. The arrival of these numerous refugees has placed an economic strain on Malawi. However, it has also drawn significant inflows of aid from other countries. Security threats are also posed to Malawi. During 2008, police arrested hundreds of refugees for leaving Dzaleka camp, generally holding them for a week before returning them to the camp. A ruling of Malawi's high court held that the Government could force all refugees to reside in the camp, and during the year authorities closed more than 50 shops operated by refugees and forced their owners back to the camp. Throughout 2008, police arrested nearly 60 Somali asylum seekers who had left Dzaleka camp and returned them to the camp. Police also stopped about 175 Somali refugees registered at Dzaleka refugee camp at a roadblock, and several days later turned them over to the immigration department. Later that year, Police captured nearly 150 Ethiopians who fled from Dzaleka camp, who claimed that lack of food and shelter drove them to flee the camp. Immigration officials returned them to Dzaleka. In December 2008, the Government deadline for refugees living in urban areas to return to Dzaleka passed. Solving this refugee crisis would improve the country’s economy and increase security.
In 1989, Malawi enacted the Refugee Act. Malawi is a signatory to both the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol and Malawi also is a signatory to the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of the Refugees problems in Africa. When ratifying the Convention, the Government of Malawi made the following reservations: 7 (exemption from Reciprocity), 13 (Movable and Immovable Property), 15 (Rights of Association), 17 (Wage Earning Employment), 19 (Liberal Professionals), 22 (Public Education), 24 (Labour Legislation and Social Security), 26 (Freedom of Movement), 34 (Naturalization). The reservation to Public Education is no longer being applied in Malawi.
Malawi supports voluntary repatriation, naturalization, and resettlement as solutions to refugees. In Malawi, UNHCR and the Government of Malawi have begun repatriation of Rwandan refugees. Facilitation and assessment of Burundian and Congolese refugees respectively is underway. In Malawi, naturalization is uncommon, even though a number of refugees became self-reliant. Resettlement to a third country remains the solution when the first two are not applicable. The resettlement opportunities depend on the quota available from the resettlement countries. Malawi is fairly open to solutions on the refugee crisis. Malawi’s government would be willing to assist directly with any proposed solution, however, to a certain extent.

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