By Bakary Ceesay
The European Union (EU) has announced on Friday it has granted through the European Commission D512, 640, 000 (Є 9,000,000) of Budget Support to help The Gambia to implement its responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press release signed by Ambassador Attila LAJOS, the EU Head of Delegation in The Gambia said the budget support can contribute to catalyzing further financial assistance from development partners, thereby helping to mitigate sanitary but also economic and social costs from the Covid-19 pandemic, in addition to supporting the achievement of medium-term development objectives.
“With this programme of Budget Support, the EU contributes to rapidly mitigate the most urgent budgetary needs of the Government in the context of the coronavirus crisis, and simultaneously supports the on-going political reforms. It is an important milestone in Team Europe’s response to this crisis in The Gambia but also worldwide. No one is safe till everybody is safe” says Ambassador Attila LAJOS, the EU Head of Delegation in The Gambia”.
It added that the government of The Gambia has adopted a range of prevention and containment measures against the spread of the pandemic. At the same time, the country and the population are confronted with a drastic loss of revenues.
“This rapid budget support will therefore contribute to cover unanticipated spending needs arising from the COVID-19 emergency and fending off the impact of COVID-19.
This should help The Gambia to remain on the path of a successful democratic transition and economic recovery after the change of regime in early 2017. Important milestones are ahead, including the Constitutional Referendum at the end of this year and the much-needed Security Sector Reform.”
The EU says it remains committed to helping strengthen democratic and economic governance as well as the resilience capacity in The Gambia, and assures its support for the priorities of the government in view of encouraging inclusive and sustainable growth, human rights & democracy, and the rule of law.
“This budget support involves the transfer of Є9,000,000 to the National Treasury of The Gambia. These funds will be used in accordance with The Gambia’s own Public Financial Management systems and policy priorities.”