People in Scotland are helping create a stable economy in Malawi through the UK Government’s development programme, helping reduce poverty, protect the poorest and lay the foundations for strong and stable economic growth, the Scotland Minister David Mundell said today.
The Minister, who recently was on a visit to Malawi, was speaking ahead of a visit to the UK by the President of Malawi Joyce Banda, which will coincide with the bicentennial celebrations for the Scottish missionary David Livingstone in London on 19 March.
The UK Government currently provides aid of around £115 million to Malawi, and is one of the largest donors to the country.
The support focuses primarily on health, education and agriculture, with additional funding for governance, accountability and private sector development as well as responding to humanitarian emergencies.
The aid helps improve the lives of Malawians in several key areas, such as reducing child mortality, fighting malaria and HIV and creating a more open, democratic society.
In addition, the devolved Scottish Government provides aid funding of around £5 million to Malawi.
Mr Mundell said:
“Malawi is a great example of how Scotland can make a real difference in the wider world as part of the UK and people in Scotland can be proud of our achievements.
“The £115 million from the UK Government through DFID changes lives, protects the vulnerable and is helping support Malawi’s economy as it faces a number of challenges.
“Scotland has strong historic links with sub-Saharan Africa and Malawi in particular so it is fitting that President Banda is visiting the UK to coincide with the 200th anniversary of David Livingstone’s birth. I look forward to welcoming her and discussing how we can continue to work together in the future.”
The Scotland Office will host a reception at Dover House next week following a service to commemorate the life of Dr. Livingstone at Westminster Abbey. The visit will also have an emphasis on developing trade links between Malawi and the UK.
The UK Government is committed to spending 0.7 per cent of gross national income on development aid from 2013 and thereafter. This will see the UK’s total aid programme grow to over £10bn by 2014/15.
The Coalition Government is the first British government in history to set out clear plans to honour the UK’s long-standing promises on aid, and will be the first G8 country to meet this target.