Ethiopia, World Bank Sign $250mln Financing Agreement to Bolster Basic Social Services

ADDIS ABABA –  Ethiopia and the World Bank signed a loan agreement amounting to USD 250 Million or approximately 10.895 billion Birr, on Saturday.

Government officials said the finance will support a project that will boost basic services delivery system in the East African nation.

The deal was signed between Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance, and Ousmane Dione, Country Director for World Bank, on behalf of the Ethiopian Government and the World Bank, respectively.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the objective of the Enhancing Shared Prosperity through Equitable Services Program (ESPES) aims to improve equitable access to essential services for the whole population of Ethiopia by improving results in health, education, and agriculture services in the most poorly performing woredas and strengthening the overall decentralized service delivery system.

The project focus on promoting the delivery of besic services such as education, primary health care, agricultural extension advice, water, and rural roads through a highly decentralized system.

“The choice was made based on a due consideration of the gap in Basic Service Delivery and analysis examining how a decentralized government might respond better to diverse local needs and provide public goods more efficiently than a centralized government,” the ministry said.

Building on the lessons learned from previous phases, it said the program will continue to support the ongoing government efforts to deliver basic services.

The ESPES program aims to leverage the government’s broad program of service delivery to promote equity, enhance quality and institutionalize critical systems, especially at the woreda level.

The 250mln US dollars additional financing was approved by the World Bank Board of Directors in May 2021.

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