Malawi is to tap $20.2 million (about K20.8 billion) from the African Development Bank Group’s $1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility meant to help African countries avert a looming food crisis in the wake of the Russian-Ukraine war.
AfDB Senior Vice President Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala said in Lilongwe Thursday that half of the money is a grant while the other half is a concessional loan.
Tshabalala said the support to Malawi will go towards the purchase of drought-resistant seed and fertiliser.
She said AfDB expects the $1.5 billion facility to boost food production in Africa.
Tshabalala said the assistance is expected to come in a single tranche, considering the urgency of the programme.
According to AfDB, with the disruption of food supplies arising from the Russia- Ukraine war, Africa now faces a shortage of at least 30 million metric tonnes of food, especially wheat, maize and soybeans imported from both countries.
It says African farmers urgently need high-quality seed and other inputs before the planting season begins in May to immediately boost food supplies.
AfDB’s $1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility is a comprehensive initiative to support smallholder farmers in filling the food shortfall.
According to Tshabalala, it is important for Malawi to ensure that the funds are used for the intended purpose.
On what the bank is doing to help Malawi address the critical shortage of forex in the country, AfDB Country Manager for Malawi Macmillan Anyanwu said the bank is working with other multilateral institutions to see how best they could help.
He added that another way of helping the country is by expediting the rollout of various projects under its portfolio in Malawi which could help unlock the money involved.
Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe was not immediately available for comment.