By Blessings Kapina and Daniel Namwini, MANA
The Ministry of Finance has signed additional Financing Agreements (FAs) with the European Union (EU) towards supporting two programmes — Social Support for Resilience and AFIKEPO nutrition programmes.
The Social Support for Resilience programme received an additional allocation of EUR23 million (approximately K20.5 billion) bringing the total financing to EUR73 million (K65.2 billion).
AFIKEPO nutrition programme received an additional allocation of EUR16 million (K14.3 billion) bringing the total financing to EUR86 Million (K76.8 billion).
Speaking on Monday during a joint signing ceremony of the financial agreements for top up resources at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe, Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu said the support would assist the government to successfully implement both programmes.
“The financial support is vital because it will help us continue taking care of our children in schools and households that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by meeting their needs,” he said.
He said the agreements signed are in addition to the support government has already received from the European Union.
“As you are aware the COVID-19 has affected us negatively where the little resources that we had could not meet the demand of the two programmes, so the EU has been kind enough to help us with additional funding for the two programmes,” he said.
The Minister also requested both Ministries of Health and Education to ensure that the resources should achieve the intended goals and reach the beneficiaries in various districts across the country.
EU acting Ambassador to Malawi, Ivo Hoefkens said both programmes have delivered substantial and sustainable results hence continuing and increasing it in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2017, the government of Malawi and the EU initially signed the Financing Agreements for the Social Support for Resilience programme worth EUR50 million while the EUR70 million financing agreements for the AFIKEPO Nutrition Programme was signed in 2018.
The overall objective of the AFIKEPO Nutrition Programme is to reduce food and nutrition insecurity in targeted districts such Mulanje, Thyolo, Chiradzulu, Salima and Nkhotakota.