Spain grants Cape Verde US$3 million in budgetary aid

12 July 2006

Praia, Cape Verde, 12 July – Spain plans to grant Cape Verde budgetary aid totaling, at least, US$3 million next year, particularly for environmental projects, the local press reported.

Daily newspaper, A Semana, citing Cape Verdean Finance Ministry sources, reported that the sum, which would begin to be negotiated Wednesday by the two countries, could reach a total of US$5 million.

In order to negotiate the agreement for next year, due to be signed in September, a Spanish technical cooperation mission is currently visiting Praia.

The paper reported that the aid is expected to be channelled towards the National Environment Program (PANA II), particularly for water and sanitation.

The “package” for next year, it added, would not include financing for current projects, such as the refurbishment of the Old Town, in the capital of Praia.

Spain is currently one of Cape Verde’s main international donors together with the World Bank, the European Union and the Netherlands, Austria and the African Development Bank.

At the end of June the Spanish authorities announced the creation of a technical cooperation office exclusively for Cape Verde, as well as supporting the Cape Verdean capital’s bid to be given UNESCO world heritage status.

During a visit by Spain’s Foreign Minister, which followed that of Queen Sofia of Spain last month, Cape Verde said it intended to set up a cooperation program with the Iberian country in order to stabilize projects involving both countries. (macauhub)