Minister of State for Trade and Development Joe Costello TD begins visit to Malawi27 February 2012
Minister of State for Trade and Development, Joe Costello T.D., today begins a four-day visit to Malawi to see the impact of Ireland’s aid programme.
Minister Costello will meet communities benefitting from Irish Aid support to reduce hunger, tackle HIV and AIDS and improve agricultural productivity. He will also host a regional consultation on the review of the White Paper on Irish Aid which will reflect the experience of partners in Africa.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Minister Costello said:
“One in two people in Malawi lives below the poverty line, with most of the population relying on farming to make a living. The Irish Aid programme in Malawi is clearly focused on supporting small-holder farmers to improve yields and increase their incomes.
We are funding research to develop more nutritious and robust crops and ensuring these gains are sustainable by supporting training for farmers in scientifically-proven techniques. We are working to improve farmers’ access to quality seeds and fertilisers and to domestic and international markets. Our ultimate aim is ensure that the most vulnerable families have access to nutritious food.”
Over the course of his visit, Minister Costello will meet senior Malawian politicians and representatives of missionary organisations and NGO partners, including Trócaire, Goal and Concern.
During his visit the Minister will also pay his condolences to the family of Rudo Mawere, the young Malawian student murdered in Dublin in January. Minister Costello said:
“Rudo’s untimely and tragic death shocked and saddened us all, and I wanted to take time during my visit in Malawi to personally convey that sympathy and support to the Mawere family.”