Chakwera asks EU to speed up resumption of budgetary support


President Lazarus Chakwera has asked the European Union (EU) to expedite processes towards resumption of direct budgetary support which he says will help bring forex to Malawi.

Chakwera made the appeal yesterday when she met with European Union (EU) Commissioner for International Partnership, Ms Jutta Urpilainen in Qatar on the sidelines of the Least Developed Countries summit.

Chakwera argued that direct budgetary support would help Malawi ease forex challenges the country has been facing for months.

“I have appealed to the EU to expedite processes towards resumption of direct budgetary support which in turn would stimulate forex flows and facilitate robust economic activity. Ms Urpilainen has hinted on the possibility to align budgetary support to specific sectors in particular, education,” said Chakwera in a Facebook post.

During the meeting, the Malawi leader also requested from the EU technical and financial assistance towards the management and eradication of the cholera epidemic that has so far claimed at least 1,500 lives and affected over 50,000.

He further appealed for EU support in implementation of mega farms and emerging transport corridors within the region that will boost our trade prospects.

The EU stopped providing direct budgetary support to Malawi following the 2013 cashgate scandal in which billions of kwacha were stolen from government coffers.

Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe said last week when presenting the K3.9 trillion budget that Malawi expects to receive K164 billion budgetary support from the World Bank while the EU is yet to make a commitment.  The budget itself has a deficit of K1.32 trillion which government expects to cover by borrowing.

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