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Secretary of Treasury Dr. Ronald Mangani and Ambassador Kikkan Haugen sign agreements. Secretary of Treasury Dr. Ronald Mangani and Ambassador Kikkan Haugen sign agreements.

Improving and expanding health services in Malawi

Last updated: 02.12.2015 // This week, Malawi and development partners took important steps towards improving Malawi’s struggling health system. Malawi and the development partners Norway, the United Kingdom, Flanders and Germany signed agreements that aim to create better health care for more Malawians. In a bilateral agreement with Malawi, Norway contributes NOK 100 million in the coming year.

The Malawi health sector faces severe resource challenges coupled with a limited budget. The agreements signed yesterday, 2 December, play key roles in creating a momentum towards better health care for more Malawians.

The Health Sector Joint Fund supports the implementation of Malawi’s Health System Strategic Plans 2011-2016 and 2016-2021. Due to challenges Malawi is facing when it comes to finance management reforms, the support entails additional oversight and control measures. It is designed to provide critical support to key Government and church health sector activities – but does so through commercial bank accounts with externally contracted oversight and control in the form of a contracted Fiduciary Agent and a Procurement Oversight Agent.

In the first year of operations, Norway contributes NOK 100 million to the Fund. Altogether, Norway, the United Kingdom and Flanders committed to USD 21.6 million (around MWK 12.1 billion or NOK 180 million) for the coming year. Germany aims to contribute to the HSJF in its second year of operation.

These funds support health services to the poor in Malawi, including water and electricity for health facilities, medical equipment, infrastructure for health centres and staff housing, and funding for service level agreements with the Christian Health Association of Malawi. 

In addition to this Fund, the Government and donors also signed a Common Fiduciary Oversight Arrangement. This agreement is an intention for development partners and Government to commit to stronger common follow-up of the sector, including joint technical assistance, single sector audits and procurement oversight.

Both the CFOA and HSJF aim to bring Malawi’s health development partners together to work in a harmonized way to support the Government’s Health Sector Strategic Plan and related expenditure priorities.

The Daily Times dedicated its front page to the story on 3 December. Read the article online here.

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