Sunday December 8, 2019
ADDIS ABABA (HOL) - The European Union has announced a €170 million aid package to Ethiopia to support economic reform, health, elections and climate change.
Newly elected EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced the support to the Horn of African nation Saturday during a first visit to Ethiopia and outside Europe since her election last month.
The EU bloc said in a statement Saturday the funds will be a ‘significant boost to the EU’s cooperation with Ethiopia.
Most of the funds-€100 million is aimed at bolstering key economic reforms in the transport and logistics sectors with the view to ‘facilitating Ethiopia’s trade and economic cooperation with neighbouring countries.’
Speaking during her visit, the EU Commission President expressed the bloc’s support for Ethiopia lauding it as a key partner in Africa.
“Ethiopia has given hope to a whole Continent and beyond, showing that peace with one's neighbours, for the good of the people, is possible, when there is courage and vision,” she said.
“I am here today to show the European Union's full commitment to supporting Ethiopia and its people on their future path.”
The announcement comes as President von der Leyen and Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa.
The announcement is a major boost to Ethiopia which has been battling heavy debt burdens. Ethiopia successfully managed to secure a loan rescheduling with China in 2017 following an imminent default.
Ethiopia is also preparing for elections next year. Out of the funding announced by the EU, €10 million will support the upcoming elections.