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How UK aid is helping the world’s most vulnerable in Malawi

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The Daily Mail has today run a critical article on Gertrude Maseko, the First Lady of Malawi, spending an estimated £80,000 of Malawian taxpayer's money on a visit to London for her son’s graduation. The story appeared on page 21 of the paper and linked this to UK aid spending in Malawi.

The article claims that reports of the trip have caused outrage in Malawi and angry protesters have taken to the streets demanding that Mrs Maseko return the money spent on the trip.

The copy highlights that the small southern African nation has “long been plagued by bad governance and corruption” and reports that DFID spends about £65 million each year in Malawi.

There is also a reference to comments made by former International Development Secretary Rory Stewart about aid to Malawi which are historic.

In a statement given to the paper and carried partially in their piece, the Department For International Development (DFID) spokesperson makes clear no UK aid funding has been spent on this visit.

The statement says: "No UK aid funding is given directly to the Government of Malawi, and no UK aid has been spent on this visit.

"We ensure our support through trusted partners delivers value for money for UK taxpayers and transforms the lives of the poorest people, with 215,000 children in Malawi getting a good education as a result of UK aid."

UK aid support to Malawi is firmly in the UK's national interest. Helping children to go to school and learn will help them find jobs, which in turn will boost economic growth and development to lift Malawi out of poverty and ensure they can be our trading partner of the future.

We are also tackling the global challenges which threaten our national security. Through UNICEF, UK aid is training 500 health workers in Malawi to prevent, detect, treat and manage Ebola, should the disease cross the border. Diseases like Ebola have no respect for borders and are a threat to us all.

By 2030, Malawi’s population will have doubled to 30 million, with one of the highest population densities in the world. Pressure on land and services combined with climate change related droughts and floods, and a lack of economic opportunities threaten stability.

Instability threatens British interests in Tanzania, South Africa and the wider region, and the UK’s prospects for increased trade and investment.

UK support to Malawi is helping to make the world – and ultimately the UK – a safer, healthier and more prosperous place.

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  1. Comment by Alarakha Alimahomed posted on

    Thats a good gesture by uk but surely there must be a hidden agenda to it.
    So far as history goes the uk has always took more then it gave.The human gesture does not add because there are worst areas of this planet than malawi for instance yemen Venezuela, bangladesh the list never ending where uk supplies bombs to kill rather than educate thats hypocracy.

  2. Comment by Stanley Mdala posted on

    This is a reckless woman who has been abusing her status as wife of a very inept President who is very old and is involved corruption with Asian millionaires who have become very rich through dodgy contracts with government agencies including the Army and the Police where senior officers are getting rich by adding millions of dollars to these contracts and do share the loot amongst beneficiaries.
    A third of the country's budget is lost through corruption. Hence the country lacks medicines and school blocks and books and civil servants are poorly paid salaries. Most often salaries are paid late and always falling in areas.
    This woman and her silly husband Peter Mutharika will one day pay the price for tolerating corruption and nepotism and running a government which lacks accountability.
    There lots of corruption in parastatal agencies and department.MBC state broadcaster is inefficient and ineffective so MRA state revenue collector as well as MACRA communication regulatory body,so with ESCOM electricity provider has been inefficient due to political interference whereby ruling party cadres siphon revenue and cash meant
    to improve its development agenda. This woman should be ashamed and be exposed to the media so she pays back the misappropriated funds from tax payers coffers.
    Not long to come these people stealing from the poor shall pay the price when they lose power very very soon.

  3. Comment by Leonard Arneil posted on

    I've been to Malawi. In the early 70s the Royal Engineers were sent to do a Mil Aid to the Civil Community task in the North of the consisted of building a road down an escarpment and 5 improvised bridges and 26 miles of usable track. The people were so grateful for this lifeline. A very friendly people and a beautiful country. The only issue was the government. The usual corruption that continues today. Banda was the President and they loved him despite of the corrupt nature of his government.

    If this money does go direct to NGOs and helps the people of Malawi then that is good, they need it. However I can not believe that somehow money is still siphoned off and politicians benefit. This must be stopped and the aid given so that it directly benefits the people of Malawi.