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Parliament authorises K24 billion World Bank Covid grant

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Felix Mlusu

Parliament Tuesday approved that the government should receive additional financing of K24 billion from the World Bank through the International Development Association for Covid Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project.

Finance Minister Felix Mlusu said the grant would help the country procure vaccines for an additional eight percent of the population from the 20 percent offered by Covid Vaccine Access facility.

This comes at a time the country is facing a shortage of Covid vaccines and positive cases are rising. For instance, Tuesday’s Covid update from the Presidential Taskforce on Covid indicated that seven Covid patients died in hospital, with 188 cases being registered.

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The taskforce further indicated that there were 54 new currently admitted cases of Covid, the country registered 188 new cases of Covid while the total number of those that have recovered stood at 57.

It is against this background that Parliament saw it fit to approve the Executive’s request for more funds.

“The funds would help to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by Covid in Malawi and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness,” Mlusu told the august House.

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Democratic Progressive Party spokesperson on the bill Owen Chomanika said the party expected prudent use of the funds.

The United Democratic Front also supported the bill.

In the afternoon, Parliament passed two more bills.

The first bill allows the Ministry of Finance to receive a sum of K4.3 billion to improve the quality of science and mathematics instructions in community day secondary schools.

The House also passed a supplementary appropriation bill for 2020/2021 financial year amounting to K157.9 billion.

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