Malawi government has received a boost for its 2015/16 financial plan after the African Development Bank (AfDB) board of directors has approved a sector budget support grant worth $30 million (about K13.5 billion) to support basic social services of health and education.
AfDB is among Malawi’s major development partners who suspended budget aid to Malawi in November 2013 following revelation of Cashgate at Capital Hill.
But the bank said in a statement that it has approved the resources which will help preserve the gains Malawi has made in expanding access to basic services.
Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe has welcomed the bank’s decisionas a “positive development.”
Gondwe expects the European Union, the World Bank to follow suit.
The Finance Minister has since wound up budget formulation consultation meetings but attracted criticism from Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Lilongwe Mapuyu South Joseph Njobvuyalema said the budget formulation process did not incorporate input from the grass roots.
“Consultations should seriously include views or input of people expressed through such forums as those regularly organised by local non-governmental organisations because they represent shortfalls being met by those departments or officials that directly deal with the people such as health care and agricultural extension workers,” said Njobvuyalema.
Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) executive director Dalitso Kubalasa bemoaned the lack of legislation mandating the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development to attend grassroots institutionalised pre-budget consultations.