The World Bank on Tuesday approved $150 million (about K40 billion) funding to help support Malawiâ€™s current reform programme aimed at stabilising the economy.
The approval follows the discussion by the bankâ€™s Board of Executive Directors over the package dubbed â€˜Rapid Response Programmeâ€™ (RRP) to help accelerate the resumption of economic growth, support a quick rebound in the agricultural sector, and cushion the costs of the economic transition.
The RRP consists the bankâ€™s Development Policy Grant which is a budget support operation worth $50 million; and additional financing for two on-going projects, namely, the Irrigation, Rural Livelihoods and Agricultural Development (Irlad) and the third Malawi Social Action Fund (Masaf III).
Finance Minister Dr. Ken Lipenga on Wednesday said government is delighted with the approval of such a package by the World Bank and said the resources will help government upscale the public works programme as well as carry out various social protection programmes for the vulnerable.
Following the approval of the package, both Irlad and Masaf projects will get $50 million each, according to a statement from the bank released on Tuesday evening.
â€œThe RRP was prepared within a very short time frame because of the urgent support that Malawi needs. This support is very critical to help maintain the momentum for the bold reforms that Malawi is taking and inject resources needed to mitigate economic transition costs,â€ reads the statement quoting Sandra Bloemenkamp, Malawiâ€™s country manager for the World Bank.
She said the resources will also help quickly scale up social protection programmes and agriculture investments for small farmers to mitigate the effects of the adjustments in the economy on the poor.