The European Union (EU) has given Malawi 7.1 million euro (about K6.2 billion) while the Japanese Government committed K2 billion to support the Covid-19 response in line with the national response plan.
The EU support is part of the 64.7 million euro (about K56.6 billion) humanitarian aid for southern African countries to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, extreme weather conditions and other crises.
On the other hand, the Japanese aid is for the procurement of medical equipment to be used in the fight against Covid-19. The medical equipment includes intensive care unit beds, ultrasound scanners, bedside monitors and other high-tech medical devices.
Signing the cooperation with Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu in Lilongwe yesterday, Japanese Ambassador Iwakiri Satoshi said he was optimistic that the aid will help the country in the Covid-19 fight.
He said: “This assistance will be beneficial not only to Malawians but also to all the human society as it will prevent the spread of Covid-19 from Malawi to other parts of the world.”
On his part, Mlusu thanked the Japanese Government for the support, saying the equipment will go a long way in the fight against the contagion that has caused havoc globally.
Meanwhile, the EU in a published statement yesterday, said actions to be supported by the K6 billion aid in the country include detection, contact-tracing and testing.
Reads the statement in part: “Other EU-supported projects will also be assisting the local technical capacity to produce and distribute personal protective equipment to health facilities based on the needs identified in the response plan and to supporting the health system.
“Given that Malawi is prone to natural disasters, EU funding is allocated to strengthen prepositioning of emergency equipment and supporting disaster preparedness measures in schools and communities located in at-risk areas.”
EU commissioner for crisis management Janez Lenarčič said in the statement the aid package will also strengthen the preparation and response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last month, the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 revised upwards Malawi’s National Covid-19 Response Plan budget by 61.7 percent from K97 billion to K157 billion despite a slow response.
As of July 21, Malawi had 3 149 confirmed Covid-19 cases, including 71 deaths and 1 256 recoveries.
Other countries that have benefited from the EU funding are Angola (3 million euro), Botswana (1.95 million euro), Comoros (500 000 euro), Eswatini (2.4 million euro), Lesotho (4.8 million euro), Madagascar (7.3 million euro), Mauritius (250 000 euro), Mozambique (14.6 million euro), Namibia (2 million euro), Zambia (5 million euro) and Zimbabwe (14.2 million euro), with a further 1.6 million euro going towards regional disaster preparedness actions.