Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
According to the final report, Malawi’s record with regard to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is mixed. According to this report submitted by the Malawian government only four goals were achieved: reducing child mortality, achieving success in the fight against HIV / AIDS, malaria and other diseases, improving the environment and expanding the global partnership. There is progress in access to primary and secondary education. Officially, slightly more girls attend primary school than boys. In secondary education, their share is 43%. Substantial progress has been made in both areas compared to the base year 2000. The proportion of adults who have finished primary school remains at a low level. The diarrhea rates in the final exams are high, mainly due to the unfavorable teacher-student ratio (1:59, 2018) in primary schools (and 1:41 in secondary schools) and the poor quality of teaching. There is still a significant imbalance in literacy: while 71.6% of men over the age of 15 can read and write, this is only true for 65.9% of women (2018). The government is working seriously to improve the educational situation. Education expenditure is substantial at 4.03% of GDP (2017). The share of education expenditure in the state budget is 10.5% (2019/20) and is the largest single budget. OneReport was submitted by the Malawian government. The targets for the fight against extreme poverty and – less extreme – for gender equality were clearly missed.
According to franciscogardening, UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were introduced at the beginning of 2016 as a new strategy for the next 15 years. It had already been presented and agreed in Malawi in May 2015. Themba Chirwa examined the effects of the SDGs on Malawi. The Malawian government has translated the SDGs into the three local languages Chichewa, Chiyao and Chitumbuka. In a collection of videos, Malawians report on how they contribute to achieving the SDGs.
There are successes in the health sector. According to the MDG final report of the Malawian government (see above), a significant reduction in child mortality has apparently been achieved. The goal of reducing child bed mortality was clearly missed to reduce significantly. According to the UNDP, the rate is still an alarming 349 per 100,000 live births (2017), with significant progress being made here. It looks better in the fight against HIV / AIDS. The rate of HIV / AIDS infections has declined to 9.2% (of 15-49 year olds; 2018) since 1995 at a still high level. However, there has been an increase again since 2014 (8.2%). Public health expenditure is 9.7% of GDP (2017) and 5.7% of the state budget (2019/20). The Government’s Strategic Plan for the Health Sector provides detailed information. The current HDI value of 0.485 (2018) has improved slightly compared to 1995. The country ranks 172nd in the lower area of the rating scale and therefore belongs has long been one of the world’s poorest countries. Widespread poverty remains a matter of concern. 70.3% of Malawians live below the US $ 1.90 poverty line (2016), while 96.7% have less than US $ 5.50 a day to live on. The probability of not reaching the age of 40 at birth is 32.6% (2005-10). Food security – regardless of the record maize harvest in 2007 and the good or at least adequate harvests from 2008 to 2014 – is precarious, as production is highly dependent on the volatile climatic conditions. The state-subsidized allocation of fertilizer to households in need cannot correct (frequently occurring) climatic distortions (drought, floods) and also has implementation problems.
In 2017 the Malawian government had a new program for the fight against poverty (MGDS III) for the years 2017 to 2022. It relies on sustainable economic growth and the development of infrastructure. Furthermore, the areas of health, education, social security and good governance have priority. However, implementation would be very expensive. The poverty reduction strategy is also documented by the International Monetary Fund. The development strategy based on the MDGs has been published by the Malawian government. The Southern African Regional Poverty Network provides a number of interesting online publications on poverty in Malawi.
Of the public foreign debt of 3.2 billion US dollars (2005), 90% were canceled by donors in early September 2006 as a result of the G8 resolution. External debt is around $ 2.27 billion, equivalent to 32.1% of GDP (estimated 2018). The funds freed up through savings in debt service are to be used for development tasks (e.g. education, health, poverty reduction). Although this decree was a great success, Malawi continued to be highly dependent on foreign borrowing.