EU to resume budget support

Mr William Hanna,EU Ambassador to Ghana

Mr William Hanna,EU Ambassador to Ghana

The European Commission is to resume budget support disbursements to Ghana.

The EU will release in total, 161.38 million Euros of budget support to Ghana in the coming weeks.

The good news was announced by the EU Ambassador to Ghana, William Hanna, at a meeting with government officials in Accra on Friday.

This support is aimed at four areas-105.63 million euros to support implementation of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda II, Ghana’s National Development Plan for 2014-2017; 31.25 million euros to support the Ministry of Health in implementing the MDG-Acceleration Framework and country action plan to reduce maternal mortality in Ghana and achieve MDG 5; and 17.5 million euros  to support the decentralisation reform process aimed at improving service delivery at local levels.

Seven million euros will support the preparation and implementation of policy reforms in the environment and natural resources sector, promoting, among others, effective forest law enforcement and the development and implementation of the National Climate Change Strategy.

A statement issued by the European Commission, said the EU welcomed the recent conclusion and implementation of a three-year Extended Credit Facility programme with the IMF.

“This programme will serve to address the macroeconomic imbalances which meant that the European Commission was unable to disburse budget support to Ghana at the end of 2013. It includes a comprehensive reform package on the two aspects which were the main sources of concern for the EU: fiscal deficit and debt sustainability,” it said.

In addition, the statement said the EU welcomed the adoption and publication in March 2015 of the government’s Payroll Action Plan to address payroll irregularities.

“In this regard, the EU is also satisfied to note that the IMF programme includes a strong Public Financial Management component and integrates important benchmarks of this action plan,” the statement said.

Mr. Hanna emphasised the EU’s readiness to support Ghana in pursuing its development agenda and particularly in the implementation of the challenging structural reforms ahead.

“The sound implementation of the IMF programme, will be essential to restore macro-economic stability with a view to creating an enabling framework for development, investment and job creation. A comprehensive Public Financial Management reform, including all necessary actions to combat any irregularities and mismanagement of public payroll, will also be fundamental,” he said.

He said the EU would continue to closely monitor progress in those two areas.

Speaking in an interview with The Ghanaian Times Mr. Cassiel Ato Forson, Deputy Minister of Finance, said the resumption of the support was an indication of the return of confidence in the Ghanaian economy.

He said it also meant that the government’s consolidation efforts were moving in the right direction.

Mr. Forson disclosed that the African Development Bank and the World Bank were going to their various boards for budgetary support to Ghana.

By Times Reporter

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