Malawi President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has appealed for the resumption of direct budgetary support from development partners, saying this would invigorate foreign exchange (forex) flows and by extension pave way for greater economic movement.
Chakwera made the appeal on Tuesday morning during his engagements with Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen of the European Union (EU) on the sidelines of the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in Doha, Qatar.
He also made a plea for substantial support towards Malawi’s cholera epidemic, which has claimed at least 1, 500 lives and affected 50, 000 people at present.
President Chakwera highlighted that Malawi needs both technical and financial assistance to eradicate the epidemic entirely.
The Malawi leader further sought technical support and enhanced collaboration with the EU to see the realization of Malawi’s mega farms initiative through mechanization.
On the other hand, President Chakwera commended the EU for its assistance in a number of projects, including the €56.5 million Greening and Growing Malawi Programme (Ulimi ndi Chilengedwe m’Malawi), the €10.5 million Malawi Energy Programme (Wala Malawi); and the €17 million Access to Justice Programme (Chilungamo II), among several others.
He also reminded the EU delegation of a request for support to establish regional transport corridors (to connect Malawi and her neighbours) under the Global Gateway, which was made during emphasizing Malawi’s challenge as a landlinked (or landlocked) country. His Excellency stressed that the corridors be prioritized and accorded the urgency that they deserve if Malawi is to develop.
Chakwera disclosed that the global shocks like climate change, war and the Covid-19 pandemic that have impacted various countries have inevitably affected Malawi by virtue of the country being part of a global village resulting in the skyrocketing of food, fuel and fertilizer etc.
President Chakwera further pointed out that what is needed is exponential growth for the LDCs and the domestication of the Doha Programme of Action adding that the terminology should now be “next to develop countries”, as opposed to Least Developed Countries adding that public debt is another obstacle to the development of LDCs due to the vicious circle that it perpetuates.
EU expressed the possibility of aligning resuming budgetary support to specific sectors in particular education and pledged its continued support to Malawi.