EU has contributed over E5.8 billion to Eswatini’s development agenda since 2010

By Phiwa Sikhondze

The Minister of Economic Planning and Development, Dr Thambo Gina, has revealed that the European Union (EU) has contributed over E5.8 billion to Eswatini’s development agenda since 2010.

The financial assistance has been predominantly in the form of grants that need not be repaid. The EU’s support has been aligned with the country’s development frameworks, such as the National Development Strategy (NDS) and the National Development Plan.

Having noted a 600% increase in EU support for Eswatini, Gina highlighted the achievements and impacts of the previous and ongoing EU-funded programmes in various sectors, such as education, health, water, agriculture, energy, and business environment.

“As a result of the good cooperation existing between the Kingdom of Eswatini and the EU, we have enjoyed unwavering support which enabled us to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on free primary education in 2015, enabled us to expand our health facilities countrywide: and made us provide potable water supply to over 60000 people in Siphofaneni, Somntongo, and Matsanjeni. The EU support has also enabled us to construct 53 kilometres of road and bridges to assist our farmers in transporting their sugar and agricultural produce to the markets: it enabled us to engage about 2920 hectares of smallholder development: it also facilitated the establishment of 3 Pack houses (at Lavumisa, Nhlangano and Msahweni) to facilitate grading and packaging of agricultural produce for export,” he said.

Gina added that the country is currently receiving EU support towards the construction and rehabilitation of some 16 water schemes to extend the growing season of our smallholders and ensure food security, support towards the improvement of renewable energy initiatives, support towards the improvement of the livestock value chain as well as support towards the creation of an enabling business environment.

The Minister emphasized that the EU’s continued support will help the country to overcome the challenge of unemployment and employability of its youth and to provide the requisite capacitation of its civil society organizations to conduct their business accordingly and facilitate the positive development of its economy and people.

Moreover, he further thanked the EU for its continued support and positive response to the needs of Eswatini and said that the government looks forward to the positive outcomes of the contributions to the country’s development.

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