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Saudi Fund pumps $36 million into Malawi

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By Frank Phiri, contributor:

The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), a finance development arm of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has said its soft loans to Malawi exceed $36 million (approximately K37 billion).

The fund has since reaffirmed its commitment to continue supporting Malawi’s development needs in key areas of health, energy and transport.

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SFD Director for Eastern and Southern Africa Azzam Al-Barrak was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of Phalombe District Hospital by President Lazarus Chakwera.

SFD has provided funding for the hospital through a $12 million (K12.4 billion) soft loan to the Malawi Government.

Engineer Al Barrak said the latest round of funding for Phalombe brings SFD’s total commitment to Malawi to more than $36 million (K37.3 billion) for development projects in recent years.

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“Phalombe Hospital will serve residents in the rural areas of the Phalombe region by addressing poverty, combating diseases, and reducing mortality rates among children,” said Al Barrak in a statement by SFD.

SFD said in the statement the fund’s involvement in Malawi has contributed to the development of a range of vital industries and fields, including the water, health, energy and transport sectors.

Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda praised the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, represented by SFD, for its commitment to help Malawi overcome persistent infrastructure challenges.

“Such effective joint partnerships will help contribute to Malawi’s growth and progress,” she said, adding that Phalombe hospital will play an important role in safeguarding rural people in the region to lead “healthier, happier lives through the provision of high-quality health care”.

SFD’s partnership with the Malawi Government dates back to 2009 and has seen the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s investment fund facilitatting three sectoral projects in the country, said the statement.

Touting itself as the sustainable development fund from the Gulf region, the SFD was established by the Royal Decree as a government organisation that provides soft loans and grants to finance development projects and programmes in developing countries.

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