Malawi Red Cross Society has asked for increased government subvention in the 2021/22 financial year, saying the organisation is overwhelmed with humanitarian work due to the effects of Covid-19 and disasters.
The organisation was allocated K273 million in the 2020/21 National Budget against the required K500 million.
Malawi Red Cross Society communications and resource mobilisation specialist Felix Washon in an interview last Wednesday said the budget subvention that they receive from government is crucial, but inadequate.
He said: “Since the resumption of government subvention three years ago, we have seen our work of assisting needy people during disasters tremendously increase and we thank government for that, but we face challenges to reach out to all people in need due to inadequate resources.”
Washon said although the aid organisation works with other development partners, the funds they receive from donors are tied to specific projects.
He said the organisation needs at least K500 million as budgetary subvention from government to effectively do its work.
Said Washon: “The first allocation three years ago was K200 million, though it was projected that we would receive K290 million. Last year, we had expected to receive K165 million but we got K115 million because of the change in budgeting by the previous government and the current one.
“This year, we had expected that the government would give us K500 million, although that amount is not enough for our plans. Unfortunately, we have been given K273 million. We thank government for that gesture but it has left a big gap in terms of our response efforts.”
In an interview, Ministry of Finance spokesperson William Banda said budgetary allocations are always determined by the availability of resources.
Malawi Red Cross was established by government through Act of Parliament to perform humanitarian assistance during disasters. The Malawi Government used to support the Malawi Red Cross Society, but stopped providing subvention in 1994, making the organisation fully dependent on donations from the public and donor partners until three years ago when government resumed budgetary support