Ethiopia Passes 'Pro-Poor' Budget as It Moves to Open Up Economy

  • Two-thirds of spending will be on poverty reduction programs
  • New premier trying to check unrest, keep up economic momentum

By Nizar Manek, 16 July 2018
(Bloomberg) --
Ethiopia’s parliament passed a 346.9 billion birr ($12.6 billion) budget, about two-thirds of it poverty reduction programs involving health, education and food security, as the Horn of African nation tries to quell unrest while sustaining the momentum of the continent’s fastest-growing economy.
In televised comments, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed described the budget as “pro-poor” and said the government still needs $7.5 billion to finish so-called mega projects, including sugar factories and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. As a result, it won’t begin new projects in the 2018-19 fiscal year, he said.
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