Lilongwe, 2 August 2019 – Newly appointed UNICEF Representative in Malawi, Mr Rudolf Schwenk, today presented his credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Francis Kasaila MP. Mr Schwenk will oversee the current five-year UNICEF Programme of Cooperation with the Government of Malawi, 2019-23. He takes over from the previous representative, Mr Johannes Wedenig.
Welcoming Mr Schwenk to Malawi, Minister Kasaila said: “We appreciate the work of UNICEF in Malawi and it is touching the lives of so many children and mothers. Its presence is felt everywhere in the country and it is well appreciated. When you travel through Malawi, you can see the impact that UNICEF has on the lives of the people.”
Mr Schwenk has worked with the United Nations for 24 years, and with UNICEF for 19 years. He started his career with NGOs in Germany in the area of development cooperation. In 1995 he joined the United Nations, working first with UNRWA in Jordan and since 2000 serving with UNICEF in Niger, India, Denmark and Bhutan.
“I am delighted to be here in Malawi and look forward to serving the children of this country, through UNICEF’s cooperation with the Government and our many partners,” Mr Schwenk said. “Malawi is rightly known as the ‘warm heart of Africa’ and I have received a very warm welcome. There are many challenges facing children and young people in this country but also many opportunities, and I am confident that together we can find effective and sustainable solutions, giving children a brighter future.”
Before arriving in Malawi, Mr Schwenk has worked in very different country contexts, covering both development and humanitarian settings and including global-level emergencies in West Africa and Europe. He has worked in both programmes and operations. Prior to his arrival in Malawi in August 2019, he was the UNICEF Representative in Bhutan, where he achieved sustainable results for children.
Mr Schwenk holds a Masters Degree in Modern Middle East, Political Science and History from the Free University of Berlin. He is a German national, born 1964, married and has two children.
UNICEF has been operating in Malawi since 1964. The current Country Programme (2019-23) aims to support national efforts to progressively realise the rights of children and women through improved child survival, development, protection and participation. The Programme is guided by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy through the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).
The country programme has three programme pillars:
- Early childhood development
- School-age children
- Child-friendly, inclusive and resilient communities.
To find out more, visit https://www.unicef.org/malawi/