Government says for now it can not repatriate Malawian students stranded in China due to Covid-19 restrictions, saying it does not have the resources to secure air tickets for all the students.
However, the government has resolved to provide K118 million for their upkeep allowances and targets both self-sponsored and government sponsored students, 290 in total.
Previously, government provided upkeep allowances to 56 students only.
This time around, each student, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Rejoice Shumba will receive K292.500.00.
Speaking in an interview monitored on public broadcaster, MBC, Shumba said government has resorted to top up their upkeep allowances in order to relieve them from the adverse effects of Covid-19 lockdown measures in China.
“Government noticed that living expenses went up in the wake of the pandemic as a result there was need for financial support in form of additional allowances that’s why government decided to help these students” explained Shumba.
She also said the Foreign Affairs Ministry arrived at the decision following discussions with the Malawi Students Association and Malawi Mission in China and that all 290 students require upkeep allowances top up.
“It will be very expensive to repatriate all 290 students from China. It is very expensive because we are talking about air tickets for 290 students and this would require huge sums of money.
“Buying air tickets will be very expensive which is why government decided to aside K118 million for their allowances, than to buying air tickets for each and every student.
“K118 million is available and disbursement will start any time this week and it is not only for self sponsored students, it also for government sponsored students in China and also students across the world,” Shumba said, adding that it the closing of airports in most countries due to the pandemic put the the students and government in awkward situation.
Malawi has reopened its main airport as it moves to ease Covid-19 restrictions imposed in April this year.
Arriving passengers will be required to test for the virus and self quarantine for 14 days.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :