The Association of Early Childhood Development in Malawi (AECDM) has blamed continued marginalisation of children on small budget allocations to various Early Childhood Development (ECDs) stakeholders that is also stifling growth of the sector.Executive Director for the Association of Early Childhood Development in Malawi (AECDM) Charles Gwengwe addressing members of the press at the Cental office of Information in Blantyre.Pic by Francis Mphweya-MA

In a press statement, AECDM deplores the reduction of budget allocation to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare from K80 million in the 2012 / 13 budget to K30 million in 2013/14.

“The reduction to the ECD budget allocations have a negative effect on the capacity for delivering ECD services, a situation that pushes more children to the margins of development,” reads part of the statement.

The statement further says that overhead expenditure allocation to headquarters ought to be reduced for ECD programmes to function with full efficiency.

“The responsible line ministries demonstrate a concentration of budget allocations at the central Government level with insignificant funds left for children and ECD services.

AECDM executive Director Charles Gwengwe also blamed in an interview the mismanagement of funds noting that it is also negatively derailing various efforts in the sector.

“Let us for example look at the billions that were lost through the cash-gate scandal. If such resources were channeled to responsible ministries for the welfare of children, they would have made a big difference,” explained Gwengwe who believes that the country has resources that can be channeled to various ECD program implement if managed well.

He further said as AECDM they will soon be meeting presidential aspirants in the fourth-coming tripartite elections to hear what they will contribute towards ECDs if voted into power.

In Malawi, children constitute 52% of the country`s total population of 13.2 million.