Malawi donors yet to release K7.1 billion in grants
Malawi’s donors are yet to release about K7.1 billion (about $23.7 million) in dedicated grants for the first quarter of the 2012/13 fiscal year, a development that could affect implementation of some targeted government projects.
According to a September Treasury update on performance of grants in the first quarter of the 2012/13 financial year that Weekend Nation has seen, government has, however, received all programmed general budget support grants for the quarter.
“We have received all what was programmed under general budget support (GBS) and project grants. The programmed amount for GBS was K20.7 billion and actual outturn is K24.5 billion.
“In terms of projects grants, K11.9 billion was programmed for the quarter and K11.9 billion has been disbursed.
“K20.8 billion was the projection for dedicated grants and K13.7 billion has been disbursed so far,” reads the statement signed by Secretary to the Treasury Randson Mwadiwa.
Dedicated grants category caters for various development projects in specific sectors such as health and education.
In an interview on Tuesday, Mwadiwa could not say which projects are affected by delayed disbursement of the K7.1 billion dedicated grants, insisting that government has received most of what it expected from the donors in the first quarter.
He said his office will produce a full report on the performance of grants in the first quarter within October.
In his 2012/13 budget statement, Finance Minister Dr Ken Lipenga projected all grants for the fiscal year at K124.08 billion out of total revenue projection of K394.47 billion comprising domestic revenues and grants.
So far, only the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have released budget support in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.
Britain is yet to resume provision of budget support to Malawi, which it stopped last year due to concerns on economic mismanagement and governance issues during the late president Bingu wa Mutharika administration.
Last week, UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) head in Malawi, Sarah Sanyahumbi, told The Nation that Britain will review its position on budget support to Malawi by the end of this year.
Norway and the European Union are set to release a total of $60.8 million (about K18.2 billion) support during the second quarter which starts in October.
Common Approach to Budget Support (Cabs) chairperson Eidhammer Asbjørn, who is also Norwegian ambassador, had not yet responded to a Weekend Nation questionnaire on why donors delayed disbursement of some dedicated grants in the first quarter which ended last month.
On budget support, Asbjørn however, said at a press briefing during this week’s Cabs review meeting that donors were disbursing their support according to an agreed schedule.
He added that it may take some time for other donors to complete processes on disbursement of budget support in their countries. n