Malawi Budget Support Review
The Common Approach to Budget Support (CABS) development partners such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), DFID (UK), the European Union, Germany, Norway and the World Bank, and the Malawian government held their biannual budget support review from 16-18 March 2010.
The review, which took place in Lilongwe, Malawi, was opened by the Malawian Deputy Finance Minister, Frazer Nihorya Nkhoma. Speaking during the event, Mr. Nkhoma informed development partners that due to delays in disbursing the pledged budget support resources during the first half of 2009/10 fiscal year as per the May 2009 aide memoire agreement, the government was finding it “… difficult to strategically use the resources in a manner that is effective.”
AfDB Resident Representative in Malawi, Frank Kufakwandi, who co-chaired the review with the Treasury Secretary, Joseph Mwanamvekha, spoke on behalf of development partners. He reminded participants about principles underlying Malawi’s budget support cooperation which is based “… on commitment to poverty reduction and respect for human rights, democratic principles, sound macro-economic management and good governance, including sound public financial management, accountability and effective anti-corruption programmes”. Mr Kufakwandi reiterated that CABS development partners would “… work with the government in upholding these principles which are key to poverty reduction, growth and sustained partnership.”
The review assessed performance by the government and development partners on their contributions to efforts at achieving the Performance Assessment Framework (PAF) targets and agreed on new PAF indicators for 2011 and 2012. It also provided an opportunity to discuss strategic policy issues that impinge on the partnership and affect the attainment of government objectives and priorities as reflected in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS).
The review noted that the government had done well in meeting most of the targets which were agreed in 2009. About 80% of the targets were either fully or partially met. Development partners called on the government to sustain the progress made in areas such as public financial management, governance and macroeconomic management.
They committed to working with the government in addressing capacity constraints which are affecting effective implementation of government programmes and effective public service delivery. In order to strengthen mutual accountability and predictability of budget support, the government and development partners promised to take necessary steps to address concerns and challenges being faced in the effective delivery of budget support.