The United Kingdom has extended a grant of GBP 120 million which is equivalent to 4.23 billion birr, for safety net, water and sanitation programs.
Signing the agreement at the Ministry of Finance on Friday, Alok Sharma, Secretary of State for International Development (DFID) said that the financing agreement is part of the assistance, the UK has been providing to Ethiopia. According to the secretary of state, both in bilateral and multilateral partnerships, the UK stands-out to be the biggest provider to Ethiopia. "Perhaps we are number one in Sub-Saharan Africa providing development assistance to Ethiopia."
According to Sharma, these provisions are important to help mitigate climate change impacts and he mentioned discussions held with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (Ph.D.) on job creation programs, and said that the afforestation process is impactful. He added saying, "When Ethiopia succeeds, Africa succeeds and when Africa succeeds, the whole world succeeds."
Admassu Nebebe, State Minister of Finance said that out of the total GBR 120 million, 95 million is set aside to finance a program: "Strengthening Climate Change Resilient System for Water, Sanitation, Hygiene Service (SCRS-WaSH). The remaining 25 million will be utilized to finance the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) which is entering its fourth phase of implementation. Both WaSH and PSNP have been implemented for the past seven years, and financing gaps to implement the programs were one of the challenges, Admassu told Sharma.
According to Admassu, the water hygiene and sanitation program will deliver the much needed services to 1.2 million beneficiaries living in a drought-prone and affected areas.
Since arriving in Ethiopia on Wednesday, the DFID head was visiting some economic and social activities where the UK has an interest in, and was joined by Shimelis Adbdissa, deputy president of the Oromia Regional State to visit the Adama Industrial Park.
According to the statistics DFID has posted in 2017, Ethiopia stood third, out of the top ten UK's largest aid recipients' next to Pakistan and Syria, each receiving 463 million and 352 million Pounds, respectively. Ethiopia received GBR 334 million to stand third on the top ten list where Nigeria, Afghanistan, Tanzania, Jordan, South Sudan, Sierra Leon and Somalia have also received a total of GBR 1.4 billion in 2017.