Donors Pledge USD 3

Donors Pledge USD 3.6 Billion For Ethiopia’s SDPRP

Addis Ababa, December 09, 2002 (WIC)- Multi-lateral institutions and various donor countries have pledged USD 3.6 billion help finance the country Sustainable Development And Poverty Reduction Program (SDPRP) in the years 2002/03 to 2004/05.

The pledges came at the end of two day Fourth Consultative Group Meeting, organized by the government in co-operation with the World Bank, UNDP and the Development Assistance Group (DAG).

Reading out government position on behalf of the Prime Minister, State Minister of finance and Economic Development, Dr. Mulu Ketsela said   the resource which was pledged in the form of grants and concessional loans would help the government in maintaining macroeconomic stability, reducing both urban and rural poverty through Agricultural Development Led Industrialization (ADLI), improving the enabling environment for private sector development, building human capacity and fighting HIV/AIDS as well as furthering decentralization and under going capacity building, among others.

She said those pledges indicated a gradual shift towards direct budget support, while recognizing the importance of project and sectoral funding.

She said Prime Minister Meles has welcomed the opportunity to conduct a broad ranging dialogue on the SDPRP with representatives of the international development community and underlined the political commitment to further democratization.

Meanwhile donors commended the government for its emphasis on the private sector as a vital partner for growth and poverty reduction. They encouraged government to deepen public-private partnerships and to establish mechanisms to institutionalize the participation of civil society.

As part of the pledges The World Bank has was currently developing a CAS for FY 2003-2005 in close consultation with the government and stakeholders to disburse USD 1.5 billion in the base case, including up to 40 per cent in grants as a debt –vulnerable low income country while the European Commission and the European Investment Bank foresee a total of new commitment for 2003 that could go up to euro 400 million and the US has also pledged non-emergency assistance which will range from $80 to $90 million for 2003..

Canada, Japan, Ireland, African Development Bank (ADB), Austria and Sweden said they would soon announce their pledge following the completion of their respective Country Assistance Strategies (CAS) and after consultations with the Ethiopian government and approval by their own governments.

At a presses briefing held at the conclusion of the meeting, World Bank Representative to Ethiopia, Isack Diwan said although an estimated USD four billion was required to fund Ethiopia’s SDPRP over the coming three years, the remaining gap will be filled when the OPEC fund members and Gulf States announce their pledges during the consultative group meeting to be held soon.

Minster of Finance and Economic Development, Sufian Ahmed said on his part the government has a good financial administration in place to manage the pledged financial resources.