Malawi’s donors pledge K40bn in budget aid

Malawi’s donors have pledged $100 million (about K40 billion)  in budget support for the 2014/15 financial year, Finance Minister Dr Maxwell Mkwezalamba said on Friday.

Mkwezalamba was quoted by Daily Times  from Mexico on the sidelines of the High Level Global Partnership meeting, saying government has secured the commitments from donors for current and  and next financial year.

The paper quotes the Finance Minister saying that a meeting he had with World Bank vice president  Africa, Makhatr Diop, the bank committed to disburse $50 million in budget support once it receives apporoval from its board.

Mkwezalamba:  Donors have made committment
Mkwezalamba: Donors have made committment

Mkwezalamba said government has been working very hard to restore donor confidence following the looting of public resources at Capital Hill.

“The World Bank has informed us that it has to look at another way of supporting Malawi in place of budget support until it is satisfied with measurers we are undertaking to strengthen our public financial system management,” Mkwezalamba is quoted saying.

According to Mkwezalamba restoring donor confidence will only happen if all the leakages that allowed the looting of public resources from 2005 under the DPP regime are sealed.

Governent has however made considerable progress in sealing the cash leak problem also promoting greater transparency on the part of government and its cooperating partners to ensuring that the open development agenda is achieved.

Mkwezalamba disclosed that his meeting with African Development Bank (AfDB) president Donald Kaberuka, the AfDB pledged $15 million budget support for the current financial year and another $15 million for the next financial plan.

He also said European Union (EU) has committed to disburse 32 million Euros if Malawi fulfils measures agreed under Common Approch to Budget Support (CABS).

The European Union Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs said recently he has appreciated some of the steps and procedures the Malawi government is taking to clean the Cashgate.

Piebalgs said: “I am happy with the issue of calling to responsibility on officers that are in control of the system. On top of that, I appreciate the establishment of credibility of public finance management since this is crucial for our continued support to the government.”

He added that there is need for government to continue with the steps and procedures being followed for the betterment of all Malawians.

The massive looting of public finances which led to the freezing of budgetary support by donors to Malawi.

The donors had resumed support when Banda came to power in 2012.

Malawi’s economy had been teetering on the brink of collapse after former President Bingu wa Mutharika picked a fight with donors whose support usually accounted for about 40 percent of the budget.

Banda has tried to win Western support by rolling back Mutharika legislation seen as suppressing human rights. She has also sought to increase spending on social programmes in an impoverished state with one of the world’s highest rates of death during childbirth.

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