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General News of Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Source: GNA

Ghana and EU sign financing agreement

Accra, March 10, GNA - Ghana and the European Union on Wednesday signed two financing agreements on natural resource and environmental governance (NREG) and general budget support, as well as an amendment to the country strategy paper 2008-2013.

Finance Minister Dr Kwabena Duffuor and Mr Claude Maerten, Ambassador and Head of the European Union Delegation in Ghana signed the deal. The NREG programme, jointly being financed by the EU, World Bank, the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands, aims at addressing the challenges in the forestry, mining and the environment sub-sectors. The total donor support is about 90 million Euros. The EU is contributing 8 million Euros.

Mr Maerten said an initial disbursement would be of EUR 4 million would be made in 2011, depending on the achievement of mutually agreed targets. He said an additional support was under discussion, adding that the outcome would depend on the progress made in the coming period. A thorough review of the NREG arrangement will take place in July this year.

The food facility seeks to assist government to implement its policy objectives and programmes, especially in the agricultural sector. It will also help government to address fiscal challenges as a result of soaring international food prices.

The EU is supporting the programmes with 15 million Euros. The amendment to the 10th EDF seeks to incorporate a general budget support (Vulnerability (V)-FLEX) facility of 35 million Euros which was extended to Ghana by the European Union in December 2009. The facility is a special fund, established by the EU to mitigate the social and economic impact of the potential second round of the global financial meltdown.

Finance Minister Dr Duffuor expressed government's gratitude for the EU's continued support to Ghana's development agenda and towards the creation of wealth and reduction of poverty. 10 March 10