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Lilongwe, 19 November 2008- The Bank Group and the Malawi Government on Wednesday, November 19, 2008, in Lilongwe signed loan and grant agreements totalling US$ 60.2 million equivalent to UA 43.31 million to finance some components and activities in the National Water Development Programme and the Local Economic Development Project during the next five years. The Minister of Finance, Goodall Gondwe, who signed the agreements on behalf of the Malawi government, thanked the Bank Group for the continued assistance to Malawi in the implementation of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) and in efforts to attain the Millennium Development Goals. The Minister was delighted that through the Bank’s assistance, Malawi is poised to be among few African countries that will achieve the MDGs on water and sanitation.
In his remarks, the Resident Representative, Malawi Field Office, Simona Frank Kufakwandi, who signed the agreements on behalf of the Bank Group, said that the signing of the loan and grant agreements was a further demonstration of the excellent relations that exist between the Government of Malawi and the Bank Group and the commitment of the Bank Group to support Malawi in its efforts to achieve sustainable development and reduce poverty.
Speaking at the same function, the Minister of Irrigation and Water Development, Sidik Mia, thanked the Bank Group for the continued support it renders to the water and sanitation sector. He said that the current Bank’s financial assistance is the largest ever AfDB support to the Malawi Water and Sanitation sector and is a reflection of the increased trust and confidence by the Bank Group of the Government’s ability to successfully implement the National Water Development Programme for the benefit of the people.
The National Water Development Programme (NWDP) will receive US$ 24.6 million as a loan and a grant of US$ 17.4 million from the African Development Fund in addition to Euro 3.5 million from the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative Trust fund to support three components of the National Water Development Programme namely: i) Rural Water Supply and Sanitation, ii) Water Resources Management, and iii) Capacity Building and Programme Management. The objectives of the NWDP components financed by the Bank are to ensure the sustainable provision of adequate water and sanitation services to the people of Malawi.The Local Economic Development Project, will receive US $20 million to assist rural communities over a five year period to increase household incomes through the promotion of business activities at the community level; support business skills training and facilitate the District Assemblies’ provision of business advisory services. The two operations for which agreements were signed are part of the Bank’s three year support programme to Malawi for the period 2008 – 2010 which will amount to about US$ 200 million.