The German government has committed to provide 102 million euros (about K100 billion) to Malawi for various development projects, including the fight against Covid-19 for the next two years.
The development follows yesterday’s discussions and the signing of a bilateral agreement between the Malawi government and the Federal Republic of Germany on a new development cooperation.
New German Ambassador Ralph Timmermann, who signed the bilateral agreement on behalf of his government, highlighted that Germany remains strongly committed to supporting Malawi’s development in various sectors, including the fight against Covid-19.
He said: “I am delighted that we concluded negotiations between Germany and Malawi on our development cooperation. We agreed on new commitments of about K100 billion for the next two years of the cooperation agreement.
“We have identified a number of key areas among them education, health, nutrition, social protection, public sector management and the fight against Covid-19 amid the current third wave”.
Timmermann said the support, in form of financial grants and technical, will be channelled through bilateral institutions such as the German development arm GIZ and United Nations (UN) agencies such as Unicef.
The funds will support social protection programmes to help the most vulnerable, procurement of medical equipment and support the vaccination campaign, provide support for private companies, farmers and former workers in the tourism sector.
It will also help in strengthening efficient and transparent use of Covid-19 funds in the public sector.
Secretary to the Treasury Chauncy Simwaka, who signed the agreement on behalf of Malawi government, described the support as a valuable contribution towards various developments for the country’s social needs.
He said the agreement is a culmination of technical meetings between the two sides that have been ongoing since March this year on priority areas.
Said Simwaka: “We have got a framework that we are going to use for monitoring and ensuring that these resources are spent on intended programs.
“As government, we have also made a commitment that we will be providing progress reports regularly to the Germans on how the resources are being used and also highlighting the achievements that will be accruing over the time”.
He said having resources targeted at the vulnerable and sectors such as health and education, there will be greater impact because Covid-19 has exposed inadequacies in the two sectors.
The resources, according to Simwaka, will help strengthen the health and education systems, adding that the impact will be enormous in short, medium to long term given the social cash transfer programmes for the most vulnerable impacted by Covid-19 and social ills.
Head of the German delegation Alois Schneider said Germany welcomed the Tonse Alliance administration’s resolve to implement reforms and the first step taken to fight corruption, is to establish more transparency and accountability in the public sector.
He said: “Let me stress on the need for a stronger focus on the implementation of policies, strategies and reforms to promote development.
“Germany encourages Malawi to increase efforts in fiscal consolidation and domestic revenue mobilisation in a socially balanced and business-friendly manner”.
He re-confirmed the German support for the Malawi 2063 agenda and its objective towards becoming an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant nation.
Speaking virtually, Guenter Nooke, the personal representative of the German Chancellor for Africa, said that in the challenging pandemic times, Germany stands with Malawi in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
In the new vision, the two countries have agreed on peaceful and inclusive societies through funding for social protection and public financial management; a world without hunger, through food security initiatives; sustainable economic growth and job creation through a more productive agricultural sector and thriving private companies as well as population and family planning for a better health of Malawian families.
With more than 2 billion euros (about K2 trillion) Germany is one of the biggest contributors to the international Act-accelerator and Covax Facility to provide developing countries with vaccines.
As part of the total German funding, about K40 billion has been provided to enable measures to mitigate effects of Covid-19. These include social cash transfer for the most vulnerable, procurement of medical equipment and Covid-19 vaccination campaign among others.