Malawi is the second 2013 world’s worst performing economy after war-torn Central African Republic, according to ranking by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which rates countries by at least one measure.
According to the ranking available on CNNMoney, Malawi has an estimated average income of $215.22 (less than K100 000) while around half of the country’s mostly rural population live on less than one dollar (about K450) a day.
But in an interview on Sunday, Ministry of Economic Planning and Development spokesperson Jollam Banda asked for more time to look at the report to give a comment.
The report, however, notes that food security is a constant challenge for Malawi, which has a history of underdevelopment.
The report adds that a severe foreign exchange shortage left Malawi unable to import critical goods like fuel and medicine in 2012, prompting a series of economic reforms that helped secure much-needed foreign aid.
In September last year, Malawi launched the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP), a blue print which aims to ensure that the country returns on track to prosperity.
Some of the measures introduced under the ERP include the devaluation of the kwacha by 49 percent and its subsequent flotation in May 2012, restoration of bilateral and multilateral relations and the repealing of punitive laws.
The ERP also included a focus five sectors: Tourism, agriculture, mining, transport and Information Communication Technology (ICT).
Under the ERP Malawi targeted a 5.7 percent GDP growth rate, a single digit inflation, 100 percent food security, and import cover at three months by end December 2013.
However, the IMF projects a five percent growth in 2013, inflation is projected to average 28.6 percent up from 21.4 percent in 2012 while official gross forex reserves stand slightly above two months.
According to the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Mvac) about 1.8 million will require food assistance during the lean period, from January to March 2013.