The US government has signed an agreement with Malawi government in which it will provide US$105 million (K31.5 billion) to the country through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Malawi’s Minister of Finance Ken Lipenga and the US envoy to Malawi Jeanine Jackson signed the agreement in Lilongwe yesterday.
According to Jackson, the agreement covers programmes in education, health, economic growth, and democracy and good governance.
“This cooperation , implemented through NGOs, international organisation and government of Malawi partnerships, supports Malawi’s own development priorities,” says a statement released by USAID.
This signing, according to USAID, brings the total commitment to Malawi this year to US$177 million (K51.1 billion) while in the period between 2001 and 2012 it now stands at US$756 million (226.8 billion).
In the health sector about US$73 million will support the Ministry of Health to strengthen health systems and quality health services.
“In support of economic growth, US$20 million will go towards developing agriculture productivity and marketing particularly for dairy and legumes, and expand trade and enterprise,” the statement says.
It adds that funding will also promote efforts to improve the delivery of food aid and the ability to monitor and respond to disasters, as well as protect natural resources and promote adaptation to climate change.
Jackson said USAID has allocated US$14 million for food aid, noting that President Joyce Banda is concerned about the issue of food shortage in the southern region of the country.
“You can be assured that the United States is working closely with a very engaged government of Malawi and donor team to meet the challenges of this food security problem,” she said.
On his part, Lipenga said the country struggles to provide the required quality of health care hence the assistance will greatly assist the on-going efforts.
“There are very strong interactions between investments in health, agriculture and nutrition. This is one reason why the Usaid agriculture programme is so focused on agriculture and nutrition,” he said.
The US aid agency is currently implementing the Feed the Future Programme to support improvements in agricultural productivity in the area of dairy and legumes.