Speaking at the function, which took place at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre, the Malawi leader said he was aware of the financial situation the society was going through since it stopped receiving subversion from Government since 1994.
“So, let me call upon the private sector to mobilise support towards the MRCS’ initiatives in investing more in the welfare of people,” Mutharika said.
The President said the activities of the society cannot go unnoticed because its volunteers work in life threatening situation which requires a lot of support in their pursuit to bring peace to the world.
“In most cases, volunteers are the first to arrive at the scene of a disaster and quite often the last to leave the scene,” President Mutharika added.
Mutharika, therefore, commended the society for their timely and life saving response in recent disasters which hit some parts of Lilongwe in the form of floods and during the cholera outbreak.
The President gave an assurance that government would work towards finding a lasting solution to financial challenges rocking the society.
MRCS President Levison Changole said the 2018 Flag Week would be used to broaden public understanding on the work of the society by featuring the diverse and innovative range of services provided across the world.
“During the week, we will highlight how Malawi Red Cross Society is addressing humanitarian challenges through original, creative and unusual approaches.
“We would like the public to learn more about our work in a way that engages them and stimulate their curiosity,” Changole said.
Changole, however, bemoaned inadequate resources as a major challenge hampering the society’s service delivery.
“Our annual subvention from government remains halted since 1994 and we have made many attempts to have it resumed but up to now there has been no response,” the MRCS president said.
“We are optimistic that the President will facilitate the resumption of funding to MRCS because as first people to respond to calls, we need to have readily available resources to start responding with while waiting for support from others,” he added.
However, Changole thanked all people of good will in the country for the support towards the Flag Week activities, noting that the society was still grappling with strategies to have long and short-term measures for developmental programmes in health, sanitation and disaster risk management.
Meanwhile, the President and the First Lady Madame Gertrude Mutharika have donated K1 million towards the Red Cross and Red Crescent Flag week which intends to collect K500 million.
This year’s Red Cross Flag Week theme: Everywhere for everyone.