8th June, 2021
” Economic growth fails to benefit everyone in Malawi and so fighting inequalities should be the way to go!” MEJN’s Executive Director, Mrs. Bertha Phiri states during an engagement meeting which MEJN organized with Parliamentarians in Lilongwe.
Inequality continues to prevail at higher rate in Malawi. The growing gap between a few at the top and the rest of society hinders economic growth. No longer able to deny the crisis, government of Malawi put in place various social protection initiatives to address inequalities’ gap and yet inequality keeps on getting worse. Inevitably, inequality threatens long-term social and economic development and debased not just those who are excluded but also has the potential to undermine the fabric of the society. However, effort to reducing inequality through redistribution and equitable financing of resources in social protection sectors is realized to strengthen people’s sense that society is fair and improves social and economic cohesion and mobility.
With proficiency and financial support from Norwegian Church Aid/Danish Church Aid (NCA/DCA), a Joint Country Programme (JCP), Malawi Economic Justice Network (MEJN) is implementing a 5 years program on “FIGHTING SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC INEQUALITIES IN EDUCATION, HEALTH, EXTRACTIVE AND SOCIAL SECURITY SECTORS” which seeks to enhance responsiveness of duty-bearers to right-holders demand for fair and equitable finance and redistribution of resources in education, health, extractive and social security sectors by 2024.
Within the framework of the project’s interventions, MEJN is involved in national budget analysis. The budget analysis is a routine undertaking of Malawi Economic Justice Network (MEJN) which aims at advocating and lobbying for proper allocation of government’s developmental activities, ensuring that economic policies are comprehensively aligned with national budget framework and the budget inclusively adheres to the needs of right-holders (citizens).
In this context, on 8th June 2021, MEJN held an engagement meeting with Parliamentarians at Crossroads, in Lilongwe to advocate for better budgetary allocations to education, health, extractive and social security sectors in the 2021/22 National Budget presented in Parliament in ensuring that the widening inequality gap is been reduced and rights-holders are inclusively and equally benefiting from social protection initiatives. . The engagement meeting followed an analysis of the proposed Budget by MEJN which showed shortfalls in the proposed allocations to the education, health, extractive and social security sectors. The trend deemed to hinder equal distribution of resources and jeopardizes economic growth.
The engagement meeting brought together Honorable Members of Parliament from the following Parliamentary Committees: the Budget and Finance Committee and the Public Accounts Committee as well as Chair Persons of the following Committees: Social and Community Affairs, Local Authorities, Education, Natural Resources and Climate change, Women Caucus among others. Also in attendance were MEJN board chairperson, His Lordship Dr. Martin Mtumbuka and NCA/DCA Head of Programs Paul Mmanjamwada.