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World Bank pumps K78 billion to councils for service delivery

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By Muhlabase Mughogho Contributor:

The World Bank has announced a K78 billion (US$100 million) grant to be channeled to local councils across the country in order to strengthen efficiency of service delivery.

World Bank Country Manager Hugh Riddell made the announcement during a courtesy call at Capitol Hill on Wednesday where he met Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Lingson Belekanyama and his deputy Halima Daudi.

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The grant is aimed at facilitating implementation of Governance to Enable Service Delivery (GESD) project being implemented by the Ministry of Local Government through the National Local Government Finance Committee (NLGFC).

Riddell said the GESD project will strengthen councils’ capabilities adding that the grant is based on their annual performance.

He said the strategy is designed to motivate council officials to work hard so that they get more financial resources as it improves service delivery.

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A thorough assessment of the council’s work will be conducted at all levels of the process and we hope that this will strengthen efficiency service delivery,” said Riddell.

On his part, Belekanyama applauded the Bank for the grant and promised to ensure that the councils produce the desired results.

He said the grant shall be disbursed by the NLGFC and that the US$ 30 million is for operations and the US$70 million will go towards the District Development Fund (DDF).

“As you can see, this is a performance grant system and will put councils on their toes because if they do not perform they lose the grant. This will help in efficient service delivery in line with the government’s agenda of a new Malawi,” said Belekanyama.

GESD is a five- year project and that designing of the project has already been completed and implementation awaits budget approval by Parliament.

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