The Royal Norwegian Government on Tuesday signed a bilateral agreement, in form of a grant, worth $30 million (about K8.4 billion) with the Malawi Government to support the health sector over the next three years.
Following the signing of the agreement, Norway has made available the first tranche of about K2.8 billion (about $11.2 million) to the health sector.Â
Speaking during the signing ceremony at Capital Hill, Royal Nowergian Embassy charge dâ€™affaires Jan Hakon Olsson said Norwayâ€™s support to Malawiâ€™s health sector has been a priority since the country opened its embassy in Malawi in 1999.
He said about one third of Norwayâ€™s development support to Malawi continues to go to the health sector.
â€œIn addition to the support managed by the embassy, Norway is a major supporter to many international health organisations that are important in Malawi,â€ he said.
Olsson said before the formulation of the Health Sector Wide Approach (SWAp) in 2004, Norway gave direct support to government health institutions and programmes, namely the National Tuberculosis Programme, the National Aids commission (NAC) and College of Medicine.
He also said his country is supporting the health sector indirectly through Banja la Mtsogolo, Norwegian Church Aid and through a technical assistance at Kamuzu Central and Queen Elizabeth hospitals.
Finance Minister Dr. Ken Lipenga thanked Norway for committing the resources and for being Malawiâ€™s long-standing partner.
â€œNorway was one of the first donors to provide support to the health sector SWAp in 2004 and has been committed to the principles of pooled budget support to the governmentâ€™s priorities in the health sector,â€ said Lipenga.