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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

UK suspends financial support for Malawi Government

Malawi will no longer receive general budget support from the UK Government, Andrew Mitchell announced today. General budget support is used to allow governments to deliver their own national strategies for poverty reduction against an agreed set of targets. This has now been suspended indefinitely. The Development Secretary took the decision after the Government of Malawi repeatedly failed to address UK concerns over economic management and governance.

On governance, demonstrations have been suppressed, civil society organisations intimidated, and an Injunctions Bill passed that would make it easier for the Government to place restrictions on opponents without legal challenge. On the economy, the UK is concerned that Malawi’s overvalued exchange rate has created chronic foreign exchange shortages which are having a serious impact on the Malawian private sector’s ability to drive future growth. There are now daily fuel queues, tobacco exports have deteriorated and Malawi is off-track with its International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme. The decision is in line with international concern over Malawi’s current position.

The World Bank, the European Union, the African Development Bank, Germany and Norway have all suspended or ended general budget support to Malawi.

Source: DFID