17 August 2017

Gambia: EU Outlines its First Package for Government

The EU in a statement issued yesterday recalled its readiness to fully support the current government and the Gambian people on the path of democratic reforms and outlined what has happened to the 75 million euros it promised in February. It revealed that the EU has offered to organize an international donor's conference for The Gambia in early 2018.

"The Gambia is progressing and we delivered," the statement asserted..

According to the statement the following projects have started:

4 projects to address food insecurity and malnutrition (around 1.1 billion Dalasi);

2 projects in the field of agriculture and rural development (around 1,7 billion Dalasi),

2 calls for proposals for NGOs still ongoing.

The statement noted that two other projects are also already at stake for some 810 million dalasi, aimed at reinforcing the technical and vocational training infrastructure of the country with a view to creating jobs and smoothening the reintegration of returning migrants. These projects will be reinforced next year.

"Very recently, on 31 July, the EU made a first disbursement of some 1,35 billion Dalasi directly to the Treasury. This will ease the stretched public finance situation and contribute to the balance of payments," the statement reveals.

The statement gave assurance: "As Commissioner Mimica announced, more will come. We are serious about that. We have strengthened our team and will do more to do so."

More promises were made: "We will further invest in job creation and access to finance; in energy and infrastructure; in climate change and environment, and in private sector competitiveness. In addition, we will now prepare a second phase of budget support.

The statement does not regard the financial support given as aid. "This is not about aid or charity; it is about cooperation. At the end of the day, it is about shared value and mutual interest."


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