UK unlocks budget support aid to Malawi

Late President Mutharika picked up a fight with donors
Late President Mutharika picked up a fight with donors
The UK has finally unlocked budget support to Malawi more than a year after it stopped supporting the national budget over economic mismanagement and governance concerns.

In a statement on Friday the UK Department for International Development (DFID) announced emergency budget support and released 20 million pounds for the current fiscal year.

“President [Joyce] Banda’s government has taken some tough but necessary decisions to stabilise the economy and create conditions where growth can flourish. In recognition of these efforts and the difficulties that Malawi is facing, the UK is providing emergency funds for this financial year,” said Secretary of State for International Development,Justin Greening.

Malawi’s economy was on the brink of collapse after late President Bingu wa Mutharika picked a fight with major donors whose support accounts for about 40 percent of the budget.

But since President Joyce Banda took over in April this year, most donors have committed more support and urged government to walk the talk.

The UK also noted the importance of continued progress on areas such as governance and building international confidence through good management of public finances, which underpins development assistance.

“It is vital Malawi stays on course with its reforms so that stability can be restored and the economy can thrive,” Greening said in a statement.

DFID will spend an average of £93 million per year in Malawi until 2015 to help implement the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS).

The World Bank and the African Development Bank were the first to release budget support in the first quarter which ended in September this year.

Norway and the European Union are set to release a total of $60.8 million support during the second quarter. Norway, according to the Memiore also intends to release $4.4 million in the third quarter.