Malawi will receive US$45.07 million to finance the government’s response to the health, social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, following a decision by the Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF) held Wednesday.
The package comprises a loan of US$24.48 million, and a grant of US$20.59 million as direct budget support, and complements an earlier sum of US$8.9 million to six countries in the region, including Malawi, under the Bank’s COVID-19 Response grants to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries last month.
The budget support intervention will help boost the Malawi National COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan that has been developed with multi-stakeholders including government, development partners, and non-government organizations.
The Bank’s support aims to protect lives; strengthen public health systems; protect livelihoods through enhanced social protection systems; foster economic resilience and protect jobs.
“The Bank’s support to Malawi’s COVID-19 Response Plan will help to cushion the economy from the negative impact on fiscal and current account balances, hence consolidating Malawi’s recovery efforts during this unprecedented time of COVID-19 pandemic,” said Acting Bank Country Manager, Eyerusalem Fasika.
“The support will contribute towards laboratory and diagnostic capacity to test, trace, isolate and treat COVID-19 cases, strengthen the COVID-19 case management systems, train frontline healthcare workforce, and restore services disrupted by COVID-19, particularly for patients with underlying health conditions,” she added.
The support to Malawi is part of the multi-country COVID-19 support package by the Bank that includes US$41.1 million to Madagascar, US$41.1 million to Mozambique, and US$10.23 million to Sao Tome and Principe.
The processing of this multi-country program was combined into one group to ensure efficiency in the preparation of the Bank’s assistance to Regional Member Countries.
Malawi declared the State of Disaster on 20 March 2020 and launched its National COVID-19 Preparedness Response Plan on 8 April. As of 21 July 2020, Malawi had recorded 3,149 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 1,256 recoveries and 71 deaths.