The World Bank says it will provide US$150 million (over K153 billion) to Malawi to be used for maize purchase, fight against Cholera and other needs in the health sector.
According to public broadcaster MBC, World Bank Regional Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa, Victoria Kwakwa, disclosed this when she met President Dr Lazarus Chakwera in Washington DC, United States of America, on the sidelines of the US Africa Leaders Summit.
Kwakwa told MBC that the bank has put in place $50 million which will be made available soon to go into the national budget to support maize purchases and the fight against cholera.
“We also have $100 million of support through an emergency health project that will support recurrent expenditure to get health personnel in place and other needs in the sector. That is also going to be approved next week. We will disburse the first $50 million immediately and the rest of it will come in due course,” said Kwakwa.
She added that the Bank has also agreed to step up engagements and support Malawi as the country navigates through difficult economic situations.
Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, who was part of the meeting, described the support from World Bank as timely .
“This [$100 million support] is huge for us and it’s going to support our recurrent costs but there is also an extra $50 million which they have committed from which $12 million is specifically for the cholera crisis that the country is facing.
“We are grateful for that and that budgetary support to Malawi as you know that for some years Malawi has had no budgetary support and for that we are very grateful,” said Chiponda.
The World Bank and Malawi Government officials also discussed the Kapichira Power Plant rehabilitation works which are being undertaken with financial from the World Bank.
Kwakwa noted that the works were supposed to be completed this month but have delayed.
“We do take some responsibility as a Bank. The project has not gone as originally planned but we will rectify that.
“A new country director is taking this in hand and hopes that we can catch up on the delays but the responsibility is on us as the World Bank,” she said.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nancy Tembo, who also attended the meeting, said it is expected that repair works at Kapichira will be completed in April
“What is encouraging is that the bank took part of the blame but have committed that we could be ready with Kapichira by April,” said Tembo.
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