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World Bank unveils US$340m support program for Malawi

20 February 2007, Nyasa Times

The World Bank has unveiled a four-year support program for Malawi through which the bank pledges to provide the country with 340 million U.S. dollars.

The bank's local office announced in a statement issued on Thursday that the 2007-2010 support program for Malawi was designed to support the implementation of the country's new economic development blueprint, the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS).
Malawi's MGDS, which has replaced the country's Poverty Reduction Strategy, has been developed to act as government's main budgeting and resource allocation tool for the coming years.

"The bank program aims to support (Malawi) government's efforts to achieve broad-based growth and poverty reduction..and also seeks to improve coordination and cooperation with Malawi's other development partners," the bank's country manager Timothy Gilbo said in the statement.

The support program would focus on helping Malawi achieve agriculture-based economic growth, improve infrastructure and investment climate, decrease HIV/AIDS impact at household level and improve government program such as fighting corruption.

World Bank's financial and technical support to Malawi has totaled about 2.5 billion dollars since the bank started aiding the impoverished southern African country 40 years ago.
The new four-year assistance has been unveiled seven months after the bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cancelled over 90 percent of the country's debts.

The debt cancellation followed Malawi's qualification for full debt relief under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries initiative which saw the country's close to 2.6 billion dollars foreign debt being forgiven by the two financial institutions. - Xinhua

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