With economic hardships biting hard, the worsening food shortage and donor pullout, the Government of Malawi cannot afford to waste any penny on luxuries.
Living in ultra luxury when millions of Malawians can hardly afford a meal goes against the moral fiber of the country and the wise thing is for government to effect cuts on unnecessary expenditures, Minister of
Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe has admitted.
Responding to concerns raised by participants during the second day of Public Affairs Committee (PAC) 5th All Inclusive Stakeholders Conference in Blantyre, today, Gondwe acknowledged the need for government to make significant adjustments on some expenditures and invest the resources in areas of importance.
One such expenditure area, according to Gondwe, is the buying of expensive cars which he said has since been put on hold. “Some projects such as buying expensive cars needed to be put on hold so that the money that was available would be used for what is needed the most,” Gondwe said.
He further said in some areas, adjustments had to be made because things didn’t go according to plan.
Gondwe cited the hunger situation where government made a projection of 2.5 million people being in need of food assistance only to realise that the figure is are now rising to over 3 million. “We made plans and conditions changed. What we need to do is to make adjustments and see which ones are to prioritise,” he said.
Making her presentation titled Impact of the current situation on health, Professor Maureen Chirwa of Prime Health Consulting and Services said with the current economic situation, Malawi needs to invest more in preventive measures than curative ones.
Chirwa said in their research, they discovered that the health sector is facing a lot of challenges including poor funding, drug shortages, drug pilferage, inadequate medical staff and lack of maintenance of
health facilities.Chirwa emphasised the need for Malawi to put more funding in the health sector to ensure sustainable development.
“We should strive to abide by the Abuja Declaration which requires every country to at least invest 15 percent of its GDP in the health sector. We all know that only healthy people take part in development
She however, said it was pleasing to learn that Malawi’s life expectancy has moved from 39 to 59, meaning that Malawi is now having a larger number of senior citizens.