Malawiâ€™s major donors under the Common Approach to Budget support (Cabs) say there has been â€˜substantial improvements in political, economic and democratic governance in the country since President Joyce Banda took over in April.
Cabs co-chairperson Asbjorn Eidhammer, speaking at a first 2012/13 Cabs review meeting in Malawiâ€™s capital Lilongwe on Tuesday, said such improvements have resulted into a new trust between development partners and the Malawi Government.
Â But, the donors are still concerned with revelations of abuse of public resources at the National Audit Office which, they said, is affecting the perception of accountability in use of public resources.
Â â€œIt is now important to continue on this path and resolve issues as they appear with a view of improving conditions for an economic growth that benefits all, and to strengthen democratic and economic governance, on which provision of budget is based,â€ said Eidhammer, who is also Norwegian Ambassador to Malawi.
Eidhammer reiterated Cabs commitment to Malawi to help improve peopleâ€™s living conditions and reduce poverty.
â€œAs you know, when budget support was put on hold, we continued our support to Malawi in other areas and reallocated grants to areas facing special challenges such as the subsidy programme for agriculture and the procurement of essential drugs,â€ he said.
The ambassador recalled that during a review meeting in May this year, Cabs donors committed themselves to reconsider budget support and indicated a plan for disbursements based on different procedures.
Â He said so far, the group is progressing very well as they are aligned to their disbursement. He said the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank have already disbursed about $90 million in budget support.
Â Eidhammer also said Cabs has seen commendable progress in many areas such as commitment to sound macroeconomic management, good governance as well as respect for human rights, democratic principles and rule of law.
The meeting was aimed at reviewing performance of the budget and its impact on poverty reduction efforts as well as assessing the performance of the 2011/12 fiscal year.