European Union Gives Grant To Support Ghana’s Budget

The European Union (EU) has earmarked a 40 million euro grant to support Ghana’s financial budget. The amount is expected to be disbursed to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning early, next year to finance any project at government’s discretion.

The Head of Co-operation of the EU delegation to Ghana, Mr. Kurt Cornelis, announced this when the EU joined its counterparts in Brussels via video conference to observe the opening ceremony of the fifth edition of the European Development Days (EDD) in Accra.

The EDD, which fall on the December 6 and 7, every year, is the foremost platform for the EU member states, together with the global development community, to dialogue and discuss developmental issues on global health policy, human rights, and aid effectiveness, among others.

Mr. Cornelis stressed that the EU would be monitoring the progress of the projects that the amount would be allocated to and expressed its commitment to finance subsequent annual budgets as it has been doing in the previous years.

In addition to the aforementioned, he said, the union has allocated seven million Euros to Ghana to prepare for a successful presidential and parliamentary election in 2012. The amount, according to him, would be disbursed to the Electoral Commission, the National Media Commission, and the National Commission for Civic Education.

Mr. Cornelis said the three commissions are expected to train and organise the media landscape as well as educate the public to ensure a peaceful election. He commended government’s continuous efforts and commitments to ensure that the nation reached a middle income economy by 2015.

“Ghana is doing very well with its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The only area that needs more improvements is the health and sanitation sectors,’’ he said. The Head of the EU delegation to Ghana, Mr. Claude Maerten, commended the government for its efforts to ensure that Ghanaians derived maximum benefits from the oil revenue.

He therefore, called on the government to ensure full transparency in the oil industry to attract more investors. Mr. Maerten said EU has signed a Voluntary Partnership Agreement with Ghana to certify timber producers in the country to enable them to have access to the European market.

Participants apart from the EU representatives who attended the conference in Brussels are the Secretary General of the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, Dr. Ibn Chambers, as well as the presidents of Benin, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Mali, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, among others. 
  
Source: The Ghanaian Times/Ghana

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