terça-feira, agosto 07, 2018

Donors & lenders ease purse strings with extra $500mn

The European Union agreed to release €290 mn ($339 mn) in budget support that it froze in 2016 as part of the general donor freeze on aid to government after the revelation of the $2 bn secret debt. The money will not go to government, but will go to projects in Mozambique in the next two years. And the World Bank is raising its funding in Mozambique by $158 mn - in increase of 50%. In 2015, before the crisis, the World Bank dispersed $419 mn, which fell to $316 mn in 2016. (Zitamar, O Pais 26 July)

Comment: Quietly, donors and lenders are admitting that they will not get their main demand -- effectively naming and shaming of Armando Guebuza or other senior Frelimo figures - because Frelimo gives priority to remaining united at all costs. Donors and lenders are also coming to understand the cutting aid is only harming the poorest, not the guilty parties. And neither creditors nor debtor want to settle before 2022, after elections and when gas is coming on line. By then, none of the aid officials and diplomats personally offended by being lied to by Mozambican ministers in 2015 will still be in Mozambique. And the new ambassadors and aid heads will have no interest in the secret debt; their promotions and next postings will be built on using aid, not withholding it. For some donors, migrants and north Africa have replaced Mozambique as the priority, but for the rest it appears that the time has come to reset relations and bypass the secret debt deadlock. Departing EU Ambassador Sven Keuhn von Burgsdorff cleared the decks for his successor by releasing the frozen budget support.  Jh

Portugal-Mozambique relations cannot be paralysed because of the hidden debt, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said in Maputo 5 July. Relations between the two countries cannot be “paralysed by the past,” he said during a two-day official visit. “The future is there and it is at the future that we have to look.” (Lusa 6 July)

In News reports & clippings, 6 August 2018

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