Malawi Government and the Saudi Fund for Development on Monday signed a K4 billion loan deal towards the construction of Phalombe District Hospital.
Minister of Finance, Dr Ken Lipenga, and the Saudi Fund for development Technical Department Director General, Hassan Alattas signed the deal in Lilongwe on behalf of their respective governments.
Lipenga said the people of Malawi are grateful for the kind gesture shown by the Saudi Development Fund saying the loan will go a long way in easing problems faced by the people of Phalombe in accessing health care.
“People of Phalombe have been travelling long distances to access health services in neighbouring districts because they do not have a district hospital of their own,” he said.
He said the project will contribute towards the reduction of disease burden of the people of Phalombe and surrounding districts through improved delivery of health care services.
He said the hospital project is long overdue saying the signing of the loan agreement will see the start of the hospital construction.
“This project’s late start has been an issue of concern to many people. This is why I am happy that we have signed this loan agreement today and work on this hospital will start without further delay,” he added.
Alattas assured Malawi of his government’s continuous support to Malawi towards attaining her development goals.
“Last year we signed a loan agreement for three teachers’ training colleges’ project and today we are signing yet another loan to finance Phalombe District Hospital. This emphasises the continuous support by Saudi Fund to the government of Malawi,” he said.
He said the assistance by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia to developing countries such as Malawi is not limited through the Saudi Fund for Development.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is providing assistance to developing countries indirectly through many regional and international institutions which we are a major shareholder like the Arab Bank for Economic development (BADEA), Opec Fund for International development (OFID), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), African Development Bank (ADB), World Bank and the International Monitory Fund (IMF),” he added.
The loan fund which was approved in June by parliament will cater for the construction of a hospital complex, provision of medical equipment, construction of 60 staff houses, consultancy services and project monitoring.
The total cost of the project is US$25.5 million and it is co-financed by the Malawi government to the tune of US$ 6.5 million and US$7 million by BADEA.
The main objective of the project is to provide easy access to quality primary and secondary health care services to the people Phalombe district.
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