Malawi gets Euros 19m for crisis recovery

Promise Zalakata Kamanga – Lilongwe, Malawi: The European Union (EU) has disbursed Euros 19 million (MK4 billion) to help the country fight effects of global economic downturn.

European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs and Malawi’s Minister of Finance, Ken Kandodo signed the financing agreement.

Speaking to journalists later, the EU Commissioner said apart from helping the country fight effects of economic crisis, the financial support will also assist Malawi recover from its current foreign exchange position.

The just signed support becomes EU’s second Vulnerability-Flex Mechanism disbursement to Malawi having disbursed Euros 25 million in March, 2009.

“Malawi has shown that it has the right policies in place to fight the economic crisis, and the capacity to translate donor support into socially inclusive and long lasting growth for the benefit of its people,” said Commissioner Piebalgs.

The Commissioner added that the support will also help reduce the country’s fiscal gap by almost 50 per cent.

With the support, the Malawi Government will be able to implement macroeconomic and fiscal policies that will further help reduce the country’s economic and social vulnerability in the wake of the recent global economic downturn.

The EU budget support to Malawi in the year 2010 alone is expected to reach Euros 111 million (MK22 billion).

This year 2010, marks 35 years of development cooperation between the EU and Malawi.

There have been strong calls from poor developing nations for support in fighting effects of global economic crunch largely blamed on rich nations yet most of them have reduced their individual country’s support to poor nations.