Malawi’s ailing economy requires up to US$4.5 billion to recover from the current crises.

The revelation is in sharp contrast to what President Joyce Banda said when she took power that she would require US$1bn to correct the economic mess she inherited from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime.

Meanwhile, government says it has already secured US$1 billion from the required funds to fix the economy.

“The estimated total cost for the successful implementation of the ERP is USD4.5 billion. Out of this amount US$1 billion has been secured from government and donors leaving a resource gap of USD3.5 billion,” reads a statement in the ERP implementation strategy.

Minister for Economic planning and Development Ralph Jooma speaking at an orientation workshop for business Journalists in Blantyre on Monday said there are all indications that the economy is recovering.

“Foreign exchange, fuel is now readily available, and most businesses are now operating on 60 percent capacity from 30 percent over a year ago, he explained adding that “prospects for growth for 2013 is estimated at 4.9 percent from 1.8 percent,” Jooma said.

Government said it will implement the ERP within 18 months and beyond but that the results will be noticed the first 18 months.

In an effort to fix Malawi’s buttered economy President Joyce Banda introduced tough economic measures among them the unpopular 49 percent devaluation and flotation of the local currency.

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