Ethiopian Lawmakers Approve Loan Deals worth Nearly $1bln

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian lawmakers have approved on Tuesday a raft of loan agreements worth 980 million US dollars.

The government signed the deals with seven countries and development partners including World Bank over the past year.

The deals, the lawmakers looked into in the third regular session of their final year, have maturity periods extending from 19 to 40 years.

The highest loan amount approved on the day was an agreement the government signed with World Bank’s International Development Agency (IDA).

The deal entails 300 million US dollars and will finance a project to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene services at the national level.

The government has also signed another loan deal worth 280 million US dollars with the same agency IDA.

The agreement says it will fund a project to improve the livelihood of at least 2.5 million pastoralists.

Two separate loan deals worth close to 264 US dollars with Korea’s Exim bank have also been approved together with another 95-million USD loan deal from France development agency.

MPs have also approved deal worth 22 million USD loan deal with OPEC’s Fund for international development for the construction of Dila–Bule –Haro Road project and 20 million USD deal with Arab Bank to expedite the Gedio and Guji area community transport system and creating safe trading activities.

Deputy Chairman for revenue, budget and finance affairs standing committee, Nafekushi Dessie reasoned the importance of the loan deals saying the finance will support the growth and transformation plan II.

They will also help fill the budget gap for the current Ethiopian fiscal year started on July 8, 2019, she said.

The MPs approved 386.9 billion birr ($13.48 billion) in government spending for the 2019/20 fiscal year.

The government’s target is to raise 289.8 billion birr, or about 75% of total planned expenditure, from tax collections and other revenue sources to fund the budget. It also plans to plug the budget gap with raise 40.3 billion birr from foreign project financing.

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