EU increases assistance to Ethiopia to 1 bln Euros

Addis Ababa, 24 February 2015 (WIC) – Considering proper utilization of funds extended to support projects by the Ethiopian government, the European Union has decided to increase amount of financial assistance.

The EU has decided to increase its yearly support to 200 million Euros (one billion Euros for the coming five years) starting from this year, considering the proper utilization of assistance during the last period, Head of EU Delegation to Ethiopia, Chantal Hebberecht told ENA.

According to her, the EU has been monitoring the utilization of funds allocated for specific projects by Ethiopia and it confirmed that the funds have been spent for the intended purposes.

EU has confirmed that the support allocated for projects in natural conservation, agriculture, education and health has been spent properly, she added.

In addition to the proper utilization of funds, the nation’s effort to alleviate poverty is also another reason for EU to increase its support to Ethiopia.

She noted that Ethiopia has been undertaking successful activities regarding poverty alleviation, reducing child and maternal deaths, realize universal access to primary education, and control malaria, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Allocating 70 percent of its budget to education, infrastructure, health institutions and poverty alleviation projects, helped Ethiopia achieve the MDGs, he added.

Germany, France, UK and Italy are among the leading countries in extending development assistance to Ethiopia.

EU, among the biggest development partners of Ethiopia, is also the destination for 30 percent of Ethiopia’s coffee, leather, horticultural and floricultural exports.

UK, Sweden, Germany and Netherlands are among the leading foreign direct investment sources for the country, with more than 300 projects with a combined capital of 60 billon US dollars.

Twenty of the total 28 members of the EU have embassies in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. (ENA