By Sylvester Kumwenda – Mana.
Government has started helping Malawian students who are pursuing different academic studies across the globe facing financial challenges due to the effects of Covid-19.
As a result of Covid-19, governments worldwide initiated various interventions aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.
This has seen lockdown or restrictions on movements, shut down of nonessential activities, suspension of schools and travel.
This means students who were outside the country pursuing their studies have been negatively affected as this has resulted into an extended school calendar, rise cost of living, resulting into financial challenges for them.
Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Joseph Mwanamvekha in a press conference on Friday in Lilongwe revealed that government has so far spent K 128 000 million in form of allowances to help Malawian students currently in learning institutions abroad.
“There are 300 Malawian students in different learning institutions across the globe. 102 are on government programmes while 182 are on private tickets, but we are targeting all of them.
“What we have done is to increase their normal allowance by 50 per cent, which means we are giving them an extra half on top of their normal monthly allowance. So far, we have given out around K128 million to these students to cover their individual accumulative total dues for a period of 3 months,” he said.
Mwanamvekha said these interventions would continue as long as the impact of Covid-19 was still there.
The 300 students are spread worldwide in countries like China, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa amongst others.
The Minister disclosed that government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would be tracking down people who went for medical attention outside the country, and are stuck there, and suffering the effects of Covid-19 so that they may be helped.