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Lazarus Chakwera hopefull on budget support

European Union envoy commits 125 million euros

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President Lazarus Chakwera has expressed hope that, after holding bilateral talks with European Union (EU) Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe Thursday, financial resources will flow in from development partners.

Chakwera said this at Katoto Roundabout in Mzuzu City, hours after meeting the EU envoy in Lilongwe.

The President is in the Northern Region ahead of the Chitipa Karonga cultural heritage festival on Saturday.

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He said the government has laid a solid foundation for resuscitating the economy without leaving anyone behind and will continue building on the same for the good of the country.

“IMF [International Monetary Fund] is in talks with other banks which we owe money so much so that when we find some money it should not end at servicing the loans. Now that they have seen our commitment as a country, they have given us another programme to help Malawians find food and other necessities.

“This is also the case with the World Bank. Today, I was meeting the commissioner of the European Union; similarly, she has said they have come to help us. There are numerous other people who are coming to help. We know we have fuel crisis, food and fertiliser [supply] challenges,” he said.

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According to State House Press Secretary Anthony Kasunda, when the President engaged the EU commissioner earlier in the day, they gauged progress of discussions they had in Brussels eight months ago.

“Key outcomes of today’s meeting include the EU’s commitment of 150 million euros towards Malawi Government’s efforts to address issues of food insecurity in the country as well as the opening of dialogue between Malawi and the EU to explore prospects of resumption of direct budgetary support to Malawi,” Kasunda said.

He added that the envoy also spoke highly about governance reforms in the country.

“The EU Commissioner informed His Excellency that the EU’s pursuit of such investments is a vote of confidence among development partners and foreign investors in the President’s strong performance in governance reforms that are creating a conducive environment for economic recovery and stability,” he said.

Urpilainen has been on a two-day tour of duty in the country.

According to a statement which the EU Delegation to Malawi Press Office issued on October 26 2022, the commissioner has been instrumental in initiating development initiatives in Malawi.

EU Ambassador to Malawi Rune Skinnebach indicated in the statement that Urpilainen’s “visit constitutes an excellent opportunity to engage with partners and reaffirm our shared objectives”.

The statement indicated that the meeting with Chakwera was meant to re-affirm “the strong ties and ever-closer partnership between the EU and Malawi, particularly in the areas of green and resilient economic transformation, democratic and economic governance and human development and social inclusion”.

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