On the 14th December 2017 the Scottish Government presented its draft 2018-19 budget to the Scottish Parliament. This draft budget succeeded in maintaining the Scottish Government's International Development Fund (IDF) at £10m a year and the Humanitarian Emergency Fund at £1m a year.
The Scotland Malawi Partnership congratulates the Scottish Government for maintaining these key manifesto commitments in this latest draft budget. We strongly support this commitment.
As international development, and specifically the relationship with Malawi, is an area with strong all-party political support, we envisage that this aspect of the draft Scottish budget will receive strong support in Parliament.
Scotland can rightly take considerable pride in the energy and commitment across civil society, Parliament and Government in this space. The far-sighted, long-term investment in the IDF, and specifically the Malawi Development Programme, by successive Scottish Governments is warmly welcomed across Scottish civil society. We specifically congratulate this current government for meeting its manifesto commitment to increase the IDF to £10m.
With this increase to the total IDF, the decrease in the number of priority countries, the government's consultation last year which emphasized that the Malawi programme was not under review, the strength of public and Parliamentary support, and the new Strategy which looks to build on the strengths of the Malawi programme, we very much hope there is no decrease in the coming years in either the Scottish Government’s formal Malawi Development Programme or its total Malawi expenditure.
We have seen first-hand the incredible impact the Scottish Government’s work in Malawi is achieving. Day-in, day-out the lives of some of the poorest and most vulnerable in society are being improved thanks to the Scottish Government and the people of Scotland. The Scotland Malawi Partnership has written to the Government to express our members' support for their continued commitment in this area.
We applaud the Scottish Government for maintaining its commitment to international development even at times of financial contraction, with budgets squeezed across the board. This is a strong statement that Scotland remains an outward-looking country which values its role as a good global citizen and a long-standing friend of Malawi.