World Bank mum on direct budget support
The World Bank is not coming out clear on whether it will resume direct budget support to Malawi months after the bank’s Regional Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa Victoria Kwakwa committed the same.
The bank’s Managing Director for Operations Anna Bjerde fell short of sustaining the commitment on the side-lines of her visit to Malawi last week along with other dignitaries including Kwakwa.
Bjerde was quick to point out that the bank provides other instruments to Malawi that assist in various sectors especially in times of crisis.
“We have stepped up our support to Malawi over the last year and a lot of funds have been in support for liquidity and we work alongside other development partners and we look forward to providing Malawi with all the instruments that we have in a manner that is in line with our objectives,” Bjerde said.
Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Sosten Gwengwe hailed the bank for the instruments and grants it provides to Malawi.
Gwengwe added that the country is contemplating requesting for a crisis facility.
“We are sitting with our director on the bank to see if we can also do a formal request of the programme under the crisis response window which is a normal procedure and we hope the bank will continue supporting us,” Gwengwe said.
In December last year, Kwakwa committed that the Bretton Woods institution would resume direct budgetary support to Malawi by disbursing $50 million (about K51 billion) and $100 million (approximately K102 billion) towards the Cholera fight and recurrent expenditure in the health sector respectively.
Kwakwa met President Chakwera in Washington on the side-lines of the US Africa Leaders’ Summit.
The World Bank and other development partners cut direct budgetary support to Malawi during then—president Joyce Banda’s era after the Cashgate scandal which showed that billions of kwacha were being embezzled from public coffers.
Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.
He is however flexible as he also writes about current affairs and national issues.