Former Moderator challenges Hague over Malawi

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he Church of Scotland has written to William Hague the Foreign Secretary asking for a meeting to discuss the UK’s relationship with Malawi.

For more than 150-years the Church of Scotland has had a long and strong friendship with both the African nation and with churches across Malawi and is concerned about the impact of aid cuts on Malawi’s poorest.

Last July, the Department for International Development, announced that Malawi would no longer receive general budget support from the UK Government it would use other means to ensure that programmes to protect Malawi’s poor, recognised by the government as amongst the poorest in the world, would be able to continue delivering basic services such as education and health.

The Church of Scotland wrote then with Christian Aid to the Department for International Development seeking reassurance from the government that aid would still reach those most vulnerable.

In the last few months, the Church of Scotland’s World Mission Council, have heard claims from partner agencies and staff of the situation in Malawi, particularly in relation to the lack of drugs, foreign exchange and fuel.

Former Moderator Very Rev Dr Andrew McLellan, World Mission Council Convener, wrote to the Foreign Secretary today, asking for clarification what other “means” the UK Government is using to ensure basic services continue and has asked for a meeting with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to discuss this.

Dr McLellan said: “We would like to understand what other “means” the UK Government is using to channel aid to Malawi to ensure basic services such as education and health are able to continue. Our concern is not only for the projects we support but ultimately for the impact on the poorest Malawians.”

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