Mozambique: EU will continue projects despite withholding aid

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The European Union has said it will continue to fund development projects in Mozambique, including those of civil society organisations despite suspending direct financial support to the state.

Speaking to the media in Maputo on Wednesday, the EU ambassador in Mozambique, Sven Khun, said despite the organisation’s suspension of funds to the country as a result of lack of transparency over an undisclosed debt of $1.4 billion, it will continue to bankroll development initiatives with special impact on civil society.

Sven Khun von Burgsdorff, EU ambassador in Mozambique
Sven Khun von Burgsdorff, EU ambassador in Mozambique

Khun said the EU has $22 billion available for such development projects and with direct support to civil society organisations and other projects, it wants to boost the lives of Mozambicans.

He noted, however, that the EU would maintain its suspension of funds to the Mozambican state budget.

“We must differentiate the treatment of funds for the country’s general state budget and funds for projects to provide services to the Mozambican people”, the EU official said after presenting a 2015-2024 portfolio of projects for Maputo Province.

The Maputo provincial director of Economy and Finance, Ludovina Bernardo said the portfolio is based on the promotion of local economic development in areas such as agriculture and infrastructure.

“Our strategic plan was aligned with the government’s five-year programme and the European Union is funding rural development projects also in the provinces of Nampula and Zambezia, but it has also other financial assistance components such as technical support and capacity building Bernardo added.

She noted that cooperation between Mozambique and the European Union dates back 30 years during which the EU had invested about $3 billion in the country.

Source: StarAfrica