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Thursday, 31 March 2011

Germany withholds budget support for Malawi

The BMZ took a decision in early February to withhold half of its envisaged budget support payments to Malawi. In a letter to Malawi's Minister of Finance, German Development Minister Dirk Niebel cited concerns regarding the observance of press freedom and compliance with international human rights agreements. In November 2010, Malawi's parliament had adopted a decision to make amendments to the country's Penal Code making homosexuality between women a crime punishable by law and extending potential state control of the media to an unacceptable degree. This was also the reason for Parliamentary State Secretary Gudrun Kopp cancelling a planned visit to Malawi. Up to the point of her envisaged departure, no confirmation had been received of important meetings on development and human rights issues. Gudrun Kopp expects the Malawian side to resume, without any reservations, the requisite open dialogue on human rights and governance within the framework of development cooperation. Good governance and respect for human rights are fundamental prerequisites for the provision of the budget support agreed on with the Malawian government.

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