Voices & Views

Budget Support is Working in Rwanda

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Health education in RwandaBudget Support involves channelling finances directly into the treasury of partner countries. It’s a form of development assistance that represents an important form of assistance for international donors like the European Commission and in the central African nation of Rwanda, government representatives are enthusiastic about its positive impact.

Speaking at the European Development days in December, Kampeta Sayinzoga from Rwanda’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning told capacity4dev.eu that budget support has proved a tremendous boost to development in her own country.

“The results are there to be seen,” said Ms Sayinzoga. “We have a whole matrix of results that have been assessed independently and agreed upon with development partners that shows not that it can work, but it currently works.”

Over 80 percent of the money Rwanda has received from the European Union through the European Development Fund (EDF) is channelled into either sector or general budget support. Overall, 25 to 30 percent of EU development assistance is allocated through budget support.

Critics of budget support say it is tantamount to writing a blank cheque and therefore it it carries a bigger risk of corruption as the responsibility for proper use is shifted to governments that are not always fully accountable. But Ms Sayinzoga disagrees and points to the safeguards that her government have put in place with European donors and their accountability to the Rwandan parliament and citizens.

“We’re not only accountable to the European Commission, we’re also accountable to our own citizens and our parliament and we use the money to deliver some services to our citizens. So it is even in our interests to use the money appropriately.”

In response to claims that budget support does not contribute to capacity building Ms Sayinzoga was clear: capacity building is not external to government activity.

“The most important thing is to ensure that the budget has money allocated towards capacity building,” she said, “rather than trying to do capacity building outside the system and outside the budget.”

RELATED ARTICLE:  Budget Support: panacea for Poverty or Catalyst for Corruption (LINK: http://capacity4dev.eu/article/budget-support-panacea-poverty-reduction-or-catalyst-corruption)

Public Consultation on EU Budget Support to Third Countries
The findings of a recently closed public consultation on the future of EU Budget support to third countries are still being studied. But contributions from citizens, organisations and public authorities can be viewed by the following the link at the bottom of this page: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/how/public-consultations/5221_en.htm

 

DISCLAIMER: This information is provided in the interests of knowledge sharing and capacity development and should not be interpreted as the official view of the European Commission.


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