The Church of Scotland is lobbying the government, after fears were raised that government aid cuts could leave Malawians without access to basic services.
The Very Rev Dr Andrew McLellan, former Moderator of the Kirk has written to the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, asking for a meeting to discuss the plight of Malawi’s poor, who are among the very poorest people in the world.
The letter comes after the Department for International Development (DfID) announced last year that Malawi would receive no further general budget support from the UK Government.
But DfID claimed that it would use ‘other means’ to ensure that Malawian people living in abject poverty would continue to receive basic services such as education and health.
The Church of Scotland has 150-year-long relationship with the southern African country, and has previously expressed concern about the plight of its most vulnerable citizens.
DfID announced last July that Malawi would no longer receive general budget support from the UK Government.
This led the Church of Scotland to write seeking reassurance that aid would still reach those most vulnerable.
But now their World Mission Council have heard claims that the situation in Malawi is increasingly bleak, with poor people unable to access basic commodities including drugs, and fuel.
And the news has led former Moderator Dr McLellan, who is not World Mission Council Convener, to send an urgent message to the Foreign Secretary, asking for clarification on what other “means” the UK Government is using to ensure basic services continue.
He has asked for a meeting with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to discuss this.
Dr McLellan said: “We would like to understand what other “means” the UK Government is using to channel aid to Malawi to ensure basic services such as education and health are able to continue.
“Our concern is not only for the projects we support but ultimately for the impact on the poorest Malawians.”
February 26th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross