Britain sends aid to help Malawi

2012-06-02 08:04

Lilongwe - Britain on Friday released $51m to Malawi to help new President Joyce Banda rebuild an economy left reeling after her predecessor soured ties with donors whose aid had propped up the budget.

Banda took office in April after president Bingu wa Mutharika died of a heart attack, pledging to restore frozen aid from donors including former colonial master Britain that traditionally accounted for about 40% of the budget.

British International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell told Reuters the money has been fast-tracked to fund programmes in agriculture, education and health.

"The money is in today," Mitchell said.

Malawi has not received budget support from donors since January last year, creating a budget gap of $121m in the current fiscal year which ends in July.

The African Development Bank has pledged to give Malawi $45m in three tranches, while the World Bank says it will work with the IMF to quickly respond to Malawi's needs.

Mutharika, a self-proclaimed economist-in-chief, picked fights with major donors over the last year, telling them Malawi did not need their cash.

His policies sent the economy into a tailspin and the country into diplomatic isolation. He was globally condemned when his police killed 20 civilians in anti-government protests in July 2011.

Banda has tried to repair the diplomatic damage and won support from Mitchell for her calls to bar Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir from attending the African Union heads of state summit in July in Malawi.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants for Bashir to face charges of masterminding genocide and other war crimes during his nation's Darfur conflict.

Malawi under Mutharika angered international donors when it played host to Bashir last year. ICC member countries like Malawi are supposed to arrest people wanted by the global court.

  • Michael - 2012-06-02 09:12

    "Those colonial ba$tards, who do they think they are taking away our money?" So much for the resilience and self sustaining capabilities of the African huh? Of course it's right for the economically more fortunate to identify and alleviate areas of suffering, it's a simple moral obligation after all. However.....for those of liberal (read PC, BEE, KFC - and bar..) persuasion, read this little article with your mind open for a change and you may just recognize that colonialists may not always be the bad guys. Then please, take that arrogant "we don't need your help" attitude and shove it where the sun will never reach!

  • maongera - 2012-06-02 16:02

    This just shows how a prostitute will remain one even if she becomes a president. Malawi is now for sale seems Britain is currently the highest bidder us51m ,France,Uncle sam intrested?

  • jletommy - 2012-06-02 16:45

    Its a good move by the President Banda on her part to sell off the Presidential Jet and fleet of 60 expensive mercenz benz cars to bail out Malawi out of its man-made economic problems...We feel donor money will be respected as it is of now under PP Government..Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda also respected donor funding and had good relations with the Donor Community...Who are we to hate the Donor Community yet we depend on the Donor Community for help...Ofcourse Africa is rich with its resources,tourism but we need international experts to assist us in African Development and this is not colonisation,the world is global village...noone can be separated from one another...We are all one people

  • Irene - 2012-06-02 18:41

    The sooner the 'evil' West leave Africa for African solutions the better. Keep your money and stop handing it out to the ungrateful unwashed masses.

  • jletommy - 2012-06-05 22:27

    Now that Malawi is moving in the right direction,the Minister of Justice and Attorney General must help the people whom their cases were resolved in the Industrial Relation Court and Different Companies paid the ex-employees and their money was misused and mismanaged by some Industrial Relations Court officials.People go there for Justice and and its their sweat which are paid for. Why these merciless people misuse their money? Proper investigation must be conducted in this organisation.

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