Mozambique: Sweden Pledges Budget Support for 2013

Maputo — The Swedish government on Friday signed an agreement in Maputo granting Mozambique 337.5 million Swedish crowns (about 48 million US dollars) in direct budget support for 2013.

The agreement takes the form of an amendment to the accord between the two countries on general budget support for the period 2009/2012. It was signed by Mozambican Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi and by Swedish ambassador Ulla Andren.

Speaking at the ceremony, Baloi said that, although the country still faces immense challenges, it is on the right path towards gradually overcoming them in a sustainable manner.

“We will continue to work together to guarantee that the use of these resources satisfies both sides, but particularly the Mozambican people, whom we have sworn to serve as best we can”, added Baloi.

For her part, Andren said Mozambique and Sweden are countries with longstanding relations of friendship and cooperation. Citing extracts from the State of the Nation Address given by President Armando Guebuza on Thursday, Andren said much more needs to be done to develop the country, in areas such as job creation, transparency in the economy and a stronger financial system.

A press release from the Swedish embassy said that the money will be channelled through the state budget to implement the Mozambican government’s poverty relief measures.

This grant, the release adds, is based on the 2012 annual review between the government and those donors and funding agencies that provide budget support, and special attention was paid “to the government’s performance in the sera of democratization, governance and public financial management”.

20 per cent of the amount pledged (67.5 million crowns) is tied to the government’s compliance with the targets set for these areas in the agreed Performance Assessment Framework.

The release cites Andren as saying “Sweden believes that corruption is a major obstacle to development which should be faced very seriously. Governance is one of the areas that has to be improved in terms of transparency and public financial management. The consolidation of democracy in Mozambique is another area of concern for the Swedish government”.

Budget support accounts for about 40 per cent of Swedish aid to Mozambique, and Sweden is the fourth largest contributor to the budget.

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