By Chancy Namadzunda:
The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), the finance development arm of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia says its soft loans to Malawi exceeding U$36 million (Approximately MWK37 billion) underline the fund’s commitment to support Malawi’s development needs in key areas of health, energy and transport.
SFD Director for Eastern and Southern Africa Azzam Al-Barrak was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of Phalombe District Hospital by President Lazarus Chakwera.
SFD has provided funding for the hospital through a U$12 million (MWK12.4 billion) soft loan to Malawi Government.
Engineer Al Barrak said the latest round of funding for Phalombe brings SFD’s total commitment to Malawi to more than U$36 million (MWK37.3 billion) for different development projects for the country in recent years.
“Phalombe Hospital will serve residents in the rural areas of the Phalombe region—by addressing poverty, combatting diseases, and reducing mortality rates among children,” said Al Barrak in a statement by SFD.
SFD said in the statement the fund’s involvement in Malawi has contributed to the development of a range of vital industries and fields, including the water, health, energy, and transport sectors.
Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda praised the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia represented by SFD for its commitment to help Malawi overcome persistent infrastructure challenges.
“Such effective joint partnerships will help to contribute to Malawi’s growth and progress,” she said adding Phalombe hospital will play an important role in safeguarding rural people in the region lead “healthier, happier lives through the provision of high-quality health care.”
SFD’s partnership with Malawi government dates back to 2009 and has seen the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s investment fund facilitate three sectoral projects in the country, said the statement.
Touting itself as the Sustainable Development fund from the Gulf region, the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) was established by the Royal Decree as a government organization that provides soft loans and grants to finance development projects and programs in developing countries.