K58.4 billion budget funding prospects for Malawi

The World Bank has expressed optimism that Malawi stands a chance to access US$80 million (about K58.4 billion) for general budget support under the Malawi Resilience Development Policy operation.

Speaking during an audience with President Professor Peter Mutharika at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, World Bank African Regional Vice President, Makhtar Diop said the board of the Bank would meet in March this year where Malawi’s terms for Direct Budgetary Support would be reviewed.

He said the Bank was one of the leading partners and it had been working with the government of Malawi throughout the past years on the issues of drought and humanitarian assistance.

We are reviewing our programmes to emphasize our decision to continue accompanying the government in its efforts, Diop explained.

He added, We distance (the projects’ funding with) the element linked to the parliament budget support of US$80 million which we will be providing if everything goes well by March 30, this year to help government to build a more resilient economy.

The World Bank African Regional Vice President pointed out that; There is a lot of element inside the budget support which are related to the resilience of Malawi to external shocks related to drought.

President Mutharika said it was imperative that Government should have the necessary financial support in the planning process through establishment of a National Planning Commission and formulation of a new medium term development strategy.

It is my appeal to the World Bank to consider approving the US$80 million general budget support under the Malawi resilience Development Policy Operation. Substantial progress has been made in achieving the agreed prior actions, which shows my government’s commitment to reform in the areas of agriculture, trade and public finance management, he said.

Mutharika said currently the main focus of his government was to break the cycle of food insecurity which came as an adverse effect of Malawi’s vulnerability to climate change.

He challenged that Malawi possessed great potential to break the food insecurity cycle.

Government has devised the National Resilience Plan to systematically break the cycle.

Key in this plan is the promotion of large-scale irrigation farming to mitigate climate change woes, particularly the drought episodes, the President said.

He said Government strongly believed that the Shire Valley Transformation Project, which the Bank is supporting, would be one of the signature projects.

Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA