By Staff Reporter
December 8, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- The European Commission announced a financial assistance of €170 million to Ethiopia yesterday, Saturday, December 7, 2019.
The latest fund was announced by the visiting, first female President of the European Commission Ursula Von Der Leyden after discussions with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa.
This is the second financial assistance from the European Commission since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in April 2018.
Early this year, former President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker announced a €130 million financial aid to support job creation in Ethiopia.
Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance, and the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, signed the financing agreements in support of political and economic reforms.
The largest portion of the fund amounting to €100 million will be used to support the nation’s transport and logistics sectors, boost regional competitiveness and facilitate Ethiopia’s trade and economic integration with neighboring countries.
€50 million of the fund will be allocated to support the government’s Health Transformation Plan for three additional years (2020-2022). This program aims to reduce inequalities, improve the quality of health facilities and reduce the financial barriers people face to access essential services.
Another €10 million will be used to ensure accountability and transparency during the 2020 elections in Ethiopia. This program specifically aims at strengthening the technical and administrative capacity of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia, as well as its engagement with political parties, civil society, and media. Germany will also add €10 million to this program, bringing the overall support for it to €20 million.
The other €10 million will be spent to improve the business climate in the country. As part of the Africa-Europe Alliance for sustainable investment and jobs, the EU is promoting private investment and supporting trade creation, economic integration and value chain development in partner countries, including Ethiopia.
EU development cooperation portfolio in Ethiopia is one of the largest in Africa and in the world (€715 million for the period 2014-2020), and the country is also one of the major beneficiaries of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (€257.5 million for 2015-2018). The EU is also providing humanitarian assistance to refugees and internally displaced people in the country. EU humanitarian assistance to the country amounted to €381 million for the period 2014-2018.
The EU supports Ethiopia in the implementation of its development strategy, notably in the areas of food security and agriculture, health, and governance. In recent years, the EU has increased the focus in areas related to job creation, industrial and agro-industrial parks, export and trade promotion and private sector development.
Ethiopia is a key partner for the European Union and the two have a long-standing partnership. In 2016 the EU and Ethiopia signed a “strategic engagement”, which implies close cooperation in areas ranging from regional peace and security, to trade and investment, and including migration and forced displacement.
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