MCHINJI (Malawi News Agency) – International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Saturday handed over a hand washing facility and Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) to Mchinji cross border traders to ensure that they conduct their businesses safely.
The donation was channelled through Ministry of Homeland Security to Mchinji Cross Border Traders Association.
IOM Regional Director for Southern Africa Mr Charles Kwenin said the pandemic has negatively impacted the livelihoods of small-scale traders across Africa and that the donation would support the traders to trade safely and thrive during this period.
“The donation has been funded by UK Aid under a project necessitated by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic which has impacted negatively on world trade including southern Africa.”
“IOM will continue ensuring that everyone is safe including those on the move and those facilitating mobility,” he said.
Kwenin said studies show that informal Cross-Border Trade accounts for between 30 to 40 percent of total intra- Southern African Development Community (SADC) trade and it was important to ensure that borders continue to be safe points of convergence.
Chief Human Resource Management Officer for Ministry of Homeland Security, Mr Isaac Chiwewe hailed IOM for the hand washing facility and PPEs.
He said most of the informal cross border traders are women and that as a means of survival during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chiwewe added these women are still trading across borders hence interacting with different people with unknown statuses a thing described as a threat to both their own lives and their families.
“We are thankful for witnessing IOM delivering PPEs to our cross border traders. You know developing partners and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have come up with various support to this country including financial and technical towards the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic,” he pointed out.
Mchinji MRA and Immigration officers have received some of the items from the donation.