Addis Ababa Feb. 07, 2014,An agreement has been signed between the Ethiopian Government and the European Union for a loan of 26.9 million euro for the financing of four projects. The agreement was signed between Finance and Economic Development State Minister Ahmed Shide and Director for East and Southern Africa and African Caribbean and Pacific Coordination (ACP), Ms Francesca Mosca. The funds will be used to support gender equality and women empowerment, trade enhancement and facilitation activities, civil society organizations and technical support. Ms Mosca said the agreement was intended provide a boost to Ethiopia’s initiatives for economic growth and poverty reduction; and she noted that the cooperation between the EU and Ethiopia had generated good results in the past. State Minister Ahmed said the support of the EU was crucial in augmenting Ethiopia’s efforts in eradicating poverty and ensuring fast and sustainable development. He added that the Ethiopian Government appreciated the EU for its increasing support for Ethiopia’s growth and transformation as expressed not only by the allocation of substantial development assistance but also in close day-to-day cooperation. These funds are provided under the 10th European Development Fund and when fully operational the projects are expected to support the integration of Ethiopia into the world economy and enhance the contribution of trade to the country’s growth and transformation.