Britain reduces aid to Malawi over presidential jet

Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:11pm GMT

* Britain cuts aid to 19 mln pounds

* Malawi bought $13.26 mln presidential jet

By Mabvuto Banda

LILONGWE, March 10 (Reuters) - Britain, Malawi's main bilateral donor, has cut aid to the southern African nation this year after Malawi bought a $13.26 million presidential jet last year, a senior British diplomat said on Wednesday.

Malawi's finance minister told parliament recently that the government had made some payments towards the purchase of the 2 billion Malawi kwacha ($13.26 million) jet.

Gwen Hines, head of the Department for International Development (DFID) in Malawi, told Reuters that Britain had cut its aid to the country by about 3 million pounds as a result.

"The ministers were concerned with the purchase of the presidential jet and effects it has on public finances in the country," Hines said.

"We provided 19 million pounds this year, compared to previous budget support of 22 million pounds... this was based on our annual assessment against DFID's three partnership principles that are a key criteria for any budget support..." Hines said.   Continued...

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