In mid January, the IMF took the unusual step of asking a group of donors to release their budget support grants to Malawi, which they have been withholding until a new IMF programme is approved. The IMF board had shifted the decision for a new programme for Malawi to mid February, raising fears that donors would continue to withhold $545 million in aid. However, the World Bank threatened to cancel a loan to Malawi for electricity transmission at the same, charging that national legislators had taken too long considering it. Last November, the Malawian president charged the World Bank and the IMF with causing foreign exchange shortages by forcing the country to liberalise the economy.
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