...fails to attend pre-organised functions
...guns 'bow' to mere stones
The ceiling of U.S. Second Lady, Jill Biden’s tank of hope dropped so low that she had to abandon a trip she must have prepared for months.
Jill, wife to U.S. vice-president, Joe Biden, is on a three-day visit to Malawi. Filled in the three-day package are trips to a number of project sites.
While everything went as planned in Machinjiri, Blantyre, where Biden announced that the U.S. would provide $20 million in relief aid [through the World Food Programme], all hell broke loose in Zomba, as Biden was being driven to Machinga District, to visit a United States Agency for International Development project.
Students from Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, blocked the road at Matawale in Zomba City, threatening to pelt stones and any vehicle that ‘defied’ the order.
On this day [Tuesday], Biden happened to be one of the people— of all people— travelling on this road. Her convoy had to, in a hurry, change direction and face where they were coming from [Blantyre].
But, then, even Blantyre did not seem safe. So, Biden and her security detail—as well as Minister of Education Emmanuel Fabiano—took refuge in Eastern Region Police Headquarters, a colonial facility that looks like a museum than modern police base.
But Biden hid there, and was lucky not to come across spider webs. Or, maybe, she was entangled in them [spider webs] but did not announce such an encounter.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO NEXT? Biden's security detail seems to say
Biden spent less than an hour at Eastern Police Headquarters and, when it was time to move on, she did not go where she had intended to go [Machinga]. Love for Dear Life, perhaps, forced her to drive back to Blantyre, Malawi’s Commercial City, and back, again, to Lilongwe, Malawi’s Capital City.
She is back in Lilongwe now. She has arrived safely.
One only hopes she will, as safely, come over the events of Tuesday.
Jill Biden’s day of success
Biden will sleep today knowing that she has, at least, done something commendable today.
On the day that students armed with stones forced her to return to Blantyre, and Lilongwe, she made an announcement that will change lives.
Read the statement below to know what this is all about:
During her ongoing three-day visit to Malawi, the Second Lady of the United States of America, Dr. Jill Biden, today announced the United States is donating $20 million (MK14 billion) in food assistance to support vulnerable, food insecure communities in Malawi. This brings the United States’ total contribution to the humanitarian response to $74.7 million (MK52 billion) since October 2015.
"The United States remains committed to supporting the region, including Malawi, during the difficult months ahead. I’m so pleased to announce today $20 million in assistance to Malawi through the UN World Food Program. The announcement today brings the total United States assistance to $74.7 million since the start of the food crisis in October,” said Dr. Biden while visiting a United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-supported Food for Peace project in Traditional Authority Machinjiri.
U.S. Ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer added, “We are working very closely with the government of Malawi and other development partners to ensure hunger does not roll back the important development gains made in Malawi, particularly for women and girls.”
Over 6.5 million people in Malawi are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the 2016 Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC)—an increase from 2.8 million people during last year’s agricultural season. Southern Africa is experiencing a historic drought exacerbated by the strong impacts of the El Niño weather event. The government of Malawi released a disaster declaration in April 2016 due to extreme drought conditions exacerbated by El Niño.
The United States has mobilized an early and integrated response to El Niño's impacts, including assistance to meet immediate needs and adaptation of development and resilience efforts to address longer term vulnerabilities, mitigate impacts, and protect gains made. The international community must coordinate quickly and at scale now to meet immediate needs as well as taking steps with the government of Malawi to build resilience to recurring droughts and other climate risks.
Since 2012, the United States has provided over $151 million (MK105 billion) of food assistance to Malawi. In addition, through President Obama’s Feed The Future and Global Climate Change Initiatives, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is supporting activities valued at approximately US$25 million annually to reduce food insecurity, poverty, and under-nutrition by increasing agricultural production and helping communities adapt to climate change.