Gambia-US$ 6 M for Budget Support

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Tunis, January 14, 2009 - The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a UA* 4.0 million grant, equivalent to US$ 6.16 million, for the Gambian government to finance its Poverty Reduction Budget Support Programme (PRBSP).

The grant, which runs from 2008-2010, is disbursed as follows: UA 3 million from ADF-XI resources, and UA 1 million from AfDB’s surplus account for the Bank’s response to the food crisis on the continent.

The PRBSP is part of the country’s General Budget Support Programme, which was designed in collaboration with the World Bank and the European Union.

The program’s overall objective is to contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction through political and institutional reforms. The proposed program is in line with the objectives of the Gambian government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper for the period 2007-2011, in particular with the first pillar of the strategy which relates to the strengthening of economic management and public service delivery.

The program has three main objectives: i) promote efficiency, transparency and accountability in the use of public resources; ii) improve public services through reforms; and iii) provide budgetary support to address the impact of the global food crisis on the budget and the balance of payments, resulting from a rise in the prices of imported foodstuffs and petroleum products.

The reforms are expected to help consolidate recent improvements in macro-economic fundamentals through the adjustment of policies governing selected areas, including internal resources mobilization, budget management and public service reforms. These reforms are expected to help promote, in a sustainable manner, economic growth and poverty reduction.

The AfDB has, since 1984, been directly involved in the implementation of policy and institutional reforms in the country. It has co-financed two balance of payments support operations and two capacity building projects.

Following consultations between the AfDB and the World Bank on the coordination of operations, both institutions recommended that the AfDB play a leading role in the area of governance on the continent.

At the end of 2008, the Bank Group had already approved 54 operations for the Gambia, representing a total commitment of UA 205.8 million.

*Unit of Account 1 = $US 1.54027 as at January, 2009

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