Enhancing Disaster Preparedness in Malawi

Context and Objectives

Preparedness is the first step for a shock-responsive Disaster Risk Management (DRM) structure to safe-guard the development gains in a country, achieve steady state economic growth, minimize expenditure on relief and recovery, as well as build resilience in the face of climate change. Effective preparedness systems reduce harm to the community at risk during a hazard occurrence, protects lives and livelihoods and reduces damage to property.

At the request of Malawi's Ministry of Finance, Economy, Planning, and Development, the ACP-EU NDRR Program is providing technical assistance to strengthen the government’s capacity to prepare for disasters to minimize their effects and impacts in disaster-prone areas of the country.

Additional funding for this project was granted to facilitate the integration of climate change and DRM in urban strategies and planning in major urban centres of Malawi, as proposed by the Malawi National Urban Policy. This new funding is for undertaking a comprehensive flood risk assessment for Lilongwe City by developing tools for city-level flood risk management and contributing to hydrologic and hydrodynamic modelling. The main counterparts for this new component is the Lilongwe City Council in close collaboration with the Department of Disaster Management Affairs.

Main activities

The project has three components:

  • Component 1: strengthening the drought early warning system. This component is supporting efforts to strengthen the existing drought early warning system. This is being achieved by facilitating the coordination and improving the communication across ministries, departments, agencies and institutions that are responsible for drought management in the country. 
  • Component 2: developing contingency plans. This component is supporting mechanisms to facilitate early financing for disaster response actions through:
    • (i) early preparation of contingency plans for selected districts in the country, 
    • (ii) early preparation of contingency plans for water supply for water boards, 
    • (iii) lobby for inclusion of the contingency budget in the national budget, and 
    • (iv) review of contingency plans once the seasonal forecast is released. The main objective of this component is to carry out drought risk assessment and develop contingency plan that identifies in a sequenced way, actions that can be taken at pre-defined time periods as drought is unfolding.
  • Component 3: building capacity of civil protection committees. This component supports establishing and building capacity of district and community civil protection committees in selected districts which are affected by drought and floods. This component is financing activities to build the capacities of civil protection committees to implement activities that contribute to preparedness of the communities. 

The implementation of activities under this project will strengthen prediction, mitigation, response, and recovery from the effects of disasters.


Government-identified priorities in the national disaster and climate agendas were successfully advanced, resulting in the adoption of crucial legislation, policies, and guidelines. These include the National Urban Policy, the National Transport Policy, the guidelines for Safer School Construction, and the completion of the Disaster Risk Management bill. The coordination of multiple sectors, namely urban, transport, and education, played a key role in advancing climate change and DRM as national agenda priorities. 

Partnership and Coordination

The World Bank is supporting the project's implementation. The key government counterpart of the project is the Department of Disaster Management Affairs. Other counterparts include the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services, the Department of Water Resources, the Department of Irrigation and the Department of Land Resources, and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development. 

  • Africa
Window of Action
  • Window 2
Amount approved
  • $200,000
  • 09/2019 - 09/2020