Mozambique’s donors pledge budgetary aid of US$385.8 million for 2008

25 May 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 25 May – The 19 countries and institutions that finance the Mozambican state budget announced Thursday in Maputo they would grant US$385.8 million to the country in 2008, according to Mozambican news agency AIM.

For 2007, direct budgetary aid provided by the group was US$369 million, which represents a rise of some 4.5 percent year on year, of Austria’s donation is discounted, as the country joined the group of donors last April.

In a ceremony held in Maputo to announce the aid to the Mozambican government, Norwegian ambassador Thorbjorn Gaustadsaether, said on behalf of the group that April’s Economic Climate Analysis has shown good results in some areas and worrying results in others.

The area that need “special attention” are, according to the ambassador, “reform of the legal system, productivity in agriculture, supply of public services and fighting corruption.”

Replying to questions from journalists, the ambassador said that Germany had planned to increase its support by 50 percent – from 10 million euros in 2007 to 15 million in 2008 – but had reduced that figure to 12.5 million euros.

“There is an anti-corruption strategy in place and it is necessary to put it into practice,” said the ambassador to add that the government needed to work harder to fight corruption.

The 19 members of the group also decided to grant US$241 million in sector aid in 2008, which will be used for specific programs instead of being channelled to the state budget.

This is an 8 percent rise on the US$223 million donated in 2007, and the minister of Planning and Development, Aiuba Cuereneia, said that the aid announced by the 19 members of the group was a third of the entire foreign aid received by the country.

Nine members of the group (World Bank, African Development Bank, Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal and Switzerland) kept their support for 2008 at the same level as for 2007 and the remainder decided to increase their contributions. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH