One of Malawi’s long-standing development allies, the United Kingdom, has commended Malawi for securing approval of a $174 million Extended Credit Facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The UK government has pledged its support to the Chakwera administration in safeguarding vulnerable individuals during this challenging period. This is good news to the Chakwera administration and bad news to the opposition.
In a statement released on Thursday posted on UK High Commissioners’ Facebook page, ‘UK in Malawi’ stated that “the UK welcomes the decision by the IMF Board and congratulates the government of Malawi on the approval of $174m Extended Credit Facility (ECF). This agreement marks the culmination of dedicated efforts by Malawian authorities to restructure Malawi’s unsustainable external debt, to design and implement a sustainable budget, and to improve the use of public funds through tighter scrutiny and control. These reforms and the new financing agreed under the ECF will help to stabilise Malawi’s economy and create the building blocks for investment and growth.”
Adds the statement:
“To achieve this significant milestone, the government of Malawi has had to take necessary but difficult policy decisions, and to implement austerity measures in the short term in the pursuit of future growth and stability. As a long-term and committed partner of Malawi, the UK will support the Government’s to protect the vulnerable people during this difficult time.
We are acutely aware of the hardships that Malawians are facing over this period of economic judgement. To help with this, over the coming months we will be prioritizing additional support for families who don’t have enough to eat, including through providing cash and food. There can be no doubt that for the longer-term growth and prosperity that is needed to prevent future hardship, Malawi needs a vibrant private sector and a more diverse economy that can create more jobs. The UK looks forward to working in a partnership to support this goal.
This vindicates what Chakwera said yesterday during the national address when he told the Malawi nation that the approval of the ECF by the IMF board heralds the resumption of direct budget support from international partners after a 10 year absence because of Cashgate and the financial mismanagement of the previous administration.