UK suspends aid to Malawi government
Today the Department for International Development (DfID) announced it would no longer provide general budget support to Malawi. The decision follows months of poor diplomatic relations between the two countries, including an earlier decision to suspend new aid to Malawi. Reading Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell’s statement, I suspect DfID will continue to provide aid to Malawi, just not through the government. Here is what he said:
“The UK provides development assistance in order to help communities lift themselves out of grinding poverty, whether that’s through getting children into school, ensuring women survive childbirth or helping farmers grow enough food to feed their families and communities.
“But poor people in Malawi and British taxpayers alike have been let down. In these circumstances I cannot justify the provision of general budget support for Malawi.
“In the meantime we will use other means to ensure that programmes to protect poor Malawians, amongst the poorest people in the world, and deliver basic services like health and education are able to continue.
“The UK has a long and deep commitment to the people of Malawi and we are keen to see the country resume the good progress it has made in recent years. I remain willing to reconsider our approach as and when our concerns are addressed.”
The announcement of suspending aid is on the heels of Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika’s signing of the Injunctions Bill, which removes the ability of courts to check the power of the executive branch.