Britain’s Department for International Development (DfID) on Thursday announced that it will provide an extra 16 million pounds (around K8.7 billion) towards supporting this year’s health programme in Malawi.
The release of the funds is in addition to the funding announced earlier in the year for the purchase of essential drugs.
DfID Malawi’s head of office Sarah Sanyahumbi said when he addressed a news conference at Capital Hill in Lilongwe that the release of the resources will almost double UK’s contribution to the health sector this year, bringing the total to 36 million pounds.
Said Sanyahumbi: “These funds will not only help the government of Malawi to meet critical immediate healthcare needs, but provide an important opportunity to tackle necessary reforms in the sector.”
She said DfID and Malawi Government will jointly determine how best the resources should be allocated and managed to improve health outcomes.
Sanyahumbi also announced during the same briefing that UK will also make available funds amounting to 12 million pounds of other planned payments to health and agriculture programmes through the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM).
“This will boost the international reserves of the Reserve Bank by a total of 28 million pounds and help the RBM to manage Malawi’s floating exchange rate,” she added.
She said the funds will be disbursed to the relevant line ministries on the agreement of DfID and Malawi government.
Reacting to DfID announcement, Finance Minister Ken Lipenga said it was pleasing that UK has made available to Malawi extra financial support to help government provide health care to the people of Malawi.
Lipenga expressed hope that the funds will also help provide the much-needed foreign exchange to help Malawi’s economic recovery.
DfID currently supports Malawi through a 110 million pond Malawi Health Sector Program (MHSP) over the period of five years and according to Sanyahumbi, DIfD will spend an average of 93 million pounds per year in Malawi until 2015 to help implement the second Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS).