Friday, December 07, 2007

EC Pledges $160m for Poverty Reduction

from All Africa

The Times of Zambia (Ndola)

THE European Commission (EC) has pledged U.S.$160 million towards the Poverty Reduction Budget Support (PRBS) to Zambia in the 2008 national Budget.

Head of operations at the EC, Rafael Aguirre said in Lusaka yesterday that his organisation had committed to provide $160 million (approximately K610 billion) towards the 2008 Budget for poverty reduction.

Mr Aguirre said transferring resources directly to the Budget allowed the Government to determine how best to tackle poverty in line with its Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP).

He commended the Government for its broad commitment to poverty reduction, macro economic stability, sound public financial management and good governance.

Mr Aguirre, however, said there were areas of concern especially in the agricultural sector and the budget execution in general on which he said his organisation would continue to work with Government closely.

He welcomed the announcement of the revision of the fiscal regime for the mining sector and was confident that the potential additional resources would be put to good use in line with the priorities in the FNDP.

Mr Aguirre said cooperating partners had also encouraged the Government to continue with the fight against corruption.

He said transparency and accountability in the use of public funds required strong institutions like the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) and the office of the Auditor-General.

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