The European Union (EU) delegation to Malawi, European Investment Bank, German and Irish embassies have secured an additional 3 million Euros to finance Malawi’s battle against Covid.
EU Head of Cooperation Ivo Hoefkens confirmed the development.
“The EU delegation, the European Investment Bank and the German and Irish embassies sat together to devise a joint support package. That ‘Team Europe’ managed to get some fresh funds from the national and union budgets (approximately €3 million) but mainly pruned ongoing programmes with unspent funds. The total amount of just over €60 million was then allocated to several ongoing programmes, allowing these to include Covid response measures,” Hoefkens said.
He said two-thirds of the funds allocated to the programmes would be used for mitigating the socio-economic impact of the pandemic.
Hoefkens said the money would also be used for supporting the government’s programme on social cash transfers, temporarily targeting vulnerable households in urban areas, and the school-feeding programme.
This means continued implementation of take-home rations while schools are closed or under restrictive measures, in addition to the provision of recovery support to small and medium enterprises and smallholder farmers.
He added that water, sanitation and hygiene initiatives would also benefit from the tranche.
“The third and final objective specifically aims to provide immediate health response, whether it is in the form of PPEs [personal protective equipment], medical equipment or training of healthcare workers and provision of information to the public,” he said
Hoefkens added that Team Europe at the central level, EU institutions and EU member states had also provided support to global initiatives that benefit Malawi, including making an allocation of over €850 million to the Covax Facility to help secure 1.3 billion doses of vaccination for 92 low and middle-income countries and in support of their efforts to make Covid vaccines a global public good.
Following President Lazarus Chakwera declaration of the State of national disaster and appealed for support the country has received assorted Covid preventive materials worth K1.6 billion from Malawi Red Cross Society and 50,000 surgical masks worth K25 million by Nyasa Manufacturing Company.
Meanwhile, co-Chairperson of the Presidential Task force on Covid John Phuka Tuesday said the country had enough testing capacity and increased space for admissions of Covid patients both at district and city levels.
According to Phuka, as of Tuesday, the country had recorded 843 new cases, 225 recoveries and 22 deaths.