Zambia and EU confirm aid arrangement will continue

24 Jun 14
Both the Zambian government and the European Union have scotched suggestions that EU aid funding would be cut because of Zambia’s poor public financial management and weak monetary policy.

By Judith Ugwumadu | 24 June 2014

Both the Zambian government and the European Union have scotched suggestions that EU aid funding would be cut because of Zambia’s poor public financial management and weak monetary policy.

‘Contrary to assertions by some sections of society, EU-Zambia relations are cordial and both parties are focused on achieving greater development cooperation,’ said Chileshe Kandeta, public relations officer at Zambia’s Ministry of Finance.

‘The two partners have agreed [in January] that the European Union support to Zambia will be channelled through project support via implementation of the 11th European Development Fund Programme, once signed.’

Under the programme, the EU pledged €484m to help Zambia implement institutional reforms. The funding, which covers the period from 2014 to 2020, provides extra resources to help Zambia improve its governance, in particular, management of the financial, tax and legal system.

But, last week the EU allegedly said Zambia had scored very low in financial and fiscal policy, which made it difficult for them to continue supporting the country.

However, Gilles Hervio, the EU’s ambassador to Zambia, refuted such suggestions. He said: ‘Reports that the EU has cut aid to Zambia are totally wrong. It is absolutely wrong for anyone to claim that the EU has stopped supporting Zambia. What is true is that we will now concentrate on projects as opposed to budget support.’

Kandeta added that the programme would focus on energy, agriculture and governance.

‘With respect to governance, the EU plans to offer financial support through sector budget support to the public financial management programme in order to strengthen accountability of public institutions,’ he said.

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