Thursday, February 01, 2007

UK continues budget support

The UK government has announced ongoing budgetary support for Tanzania.

Tanzania’s progress in tackling poverty provides an ‘excellent example’ for other African countries to follow, says Hilary Benn, the UK International Development Secretary.

Hilary Benn at the Chronic Poverty Research Centre

Speaking after a meeting with President Kikwete of Tanzania, Mr Benn pointed towards the development of democracy, economic growth and more effective government across Africa. He highlighted the progress in Tanzania, where:

  • The number of children in primary school has doubled from 4 million in 2000 to 8 million today. Almost all children are now in primary education, with 96% enrolment,
  • Infant mortality has fallen by a third (in the five years to 2004), and
  • There has been strong economic growth, with annual GDP increases of between 5% and 7% since 2000.
Mr Benn announced that the UK will provide £105 million of direct budget support to Tanzania in 2007/8, up from £90 million this year. Budget support is money provided directly to the Government of Tanzania to support its poverty reduction plans.

He said:
Tanzania is an excellent example of the progress Africa is making, with a constitutional democracy, economic growth above five percent a year, and nearly all children in primary education.

This aid from the UK government is equivalent to AU$7 per person, or AU$16 per child in Tanzania. This does not seem a lot of money, but it is valuable for three reasons:
  • It is a reliable amount that can be expected to continue annually and allow the Tanzanian government to do forward planning.
  • It is not tied to goods/services provided by the UK and therefore can be used to maximum efficiency, e.g. buying local goods and services.
  • It is given to budget support which allows the Tanzanian government to develop internal capacities and improved governance.

DFID is the UK Dept for International Development had lots of information about Ending Poverty.

Just as the reliable annual support from the British government will make a real difference as Tanzania climbs out of chronic poverty, so will your continuing support for the School of St Jude. By committing to give a regular amount, you will give the School income security that will allow it to provide excellent education to increasing numbers of bright children from poor families.

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