Expenditure details of the K543 million of the K7.5 billion government has disbursed for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) National Response show that security enforcement has received a lion’s share of K260 million.
The law enforcement allocation—largely to the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) and Malawi Police Service (MPS) represents over 47 percent of total spending so far on Covid-19.
Trailing security in terms of allocations are local government councils that have received K202 million for Covid-19 activities, according to the breakdown.
In an interview yesterday, Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs Wilson Moleni said: “K543 million is the expenditure up to date. Out of this, K29 million has gone towards awareness campaigns under Ministry of Information, K260 million has gone to enforcement cluster [comprising] Police and MDF.
“There is also K1.2 million allocated to the education cluster for online learning, Competition and Fair Trading Commission got K49 million to monitor trade activities and local councils were given K202 million among others.”
He said a big share of the remaining funds from the K7.5 billion would be used to procure medical supplies.
Moleni said currently his department is awaiting quotations from Central Medical Stores Trust to finalise the procurement of medical supplies.
He said his office will continuously provide expenditure updates as part of transparency in the management of Covid-19 funds.
Said Moleni: “We are usually receiving queries from people on how the funds are used. So, we will be continuously updating the nation on what has been spent so far.”
During a meeting in Lilongwe on Tuesday with two Cabinet ministers Mark Botomani (Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology) and Jappie Mhango (Health) on alleged abuse of Covid-19 funds, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) demanded transparency in the management of funds.
To date, Malawi has about K20 billion for Covid-19 fight comprising K7.5 billion from government and the balance from development partners. The country’s Covid-19 response faces a K137 billion deficit in the budgeted K157 billion.
The Covid-19 National Response Plan launched earlier last month indicates that protection and social support is allocated a lion’s share of K92.4 billion followed by food security with K16.5 billion.
The breakdown showed that coordination has an allocation of about K332.4 million, health cluster was allocated K15.4 billion, water, sanitation and hygiene cluster got K11.9 billion among others.
Currently, the country has 43 confirmed cases of Covid-19 since April 2 when the first three cases were reported.