AFRICA/MALAWI - Funding for AIDS drugs have halved while the Country must cope with flood damage

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Lilongwe (Agenzia Fides) - "The contributions donated by the International Fund to Fight AIDS have halved, it is a real alarm. The funds allowed nearly 500,000 people to regularly get ARVs" is Fr. Piergiorgio Gamba’s complaint to Fides Agency, a Monfortan missionary who has been active for decades in Malawi. "Soon we will resume the funerals of hundreds of people left without medicines. The number of orphans will increase again dramatically and the average age will be below forty "
The halving of the funds for the purchase of antiretroviral medicines comes when the Country is facing the economic damage caused by flooding. "In different parts of the Country, the rain has caused floods which in turn has caused severe damage. For example in the area of Mangochi 5,000 huts were destroyed or seriously damaged. But no one complains. Rain is the only hope for a good harvest " refers Fr. Gamba. "The poverty of the Country is experienced especially by the Christian communities and parishes. The commitment to an ever greater self-sufficiency that has been characterizing for years the change of the Missionary Church to Church expression of the region, is extremely suffered in recent months, " said the missionary. "There are parishes that are no longer able to have the fuel for vehicles used to visit the most distant villages. Schools and hospitals supported by the Church, without the contribution of the people, are obliged to reduce their activities, " concludes Fr. Gamba.
The serious economic and humanitarian assistance is at the center of the work of the local Episcopal Conference which opened in Lilongwe on January 28 and will end on February 1. Among other topics to be discussed are the implementation of the conclusions of the Synod for Africa, initiatives for the Year of Faith and the preparation for the AMECEA (Association of Episcopal Conferences of Eastern Africa) to be held in Malawi in 2014. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 30/01/2013)