ABIDJAN/Ivory Coast: Malawi will receive $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 $24.48 million, and a grant of $20.59 million as direct budget support, and complements an earlier sum of $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 $41.1 million to Madagascar, $41.1 million to Mozambique and $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 a 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.