The House of Peoples’ Representatives (HPR) on Tuesday discussed several draft laws, including a USD 300 million loan agreement that Ethiopia recently cemented with the World Bank Group for the soon-to-start Urban Productive Safety Net project which will be implemented in Ethiopia for the first time.
The project is aimed at benefiting low-income citizens in eleven towns in the country, particularly targeting elders, people with disabilities, those with mental development problems, orphans, street children, child beggars and commercial sex workers.
The urban productive safety-net project, which will be implemented over a period of five years with a total cost of 450 million dollars, aims at improving the income of poor households in urban areas via an urban safety-net mechanisms.
The financing was extended by the International Development Association (IDA) in the order of USD300 million covering 67 percent of the project cost. The remaining 33 percent or USD150 million will be paid for by the Ethiopian government.
According to the loan document, the project will be launched as of next year; and its design is inspired by the rural productive safety-net program that has been implemented for more than a decade now as a major strategy to combat poverty.
The objective will be achieved through the provision of cash transfers, financial and technical support to access livelihood opportunities, building the capacity of institutions to effectively deliver the support and developing core systems for delivery of safety-nets and complementary livelihood services, according to MoFEC.
Similarly, the House has also deliberated on the 40 million euros loan agreement signed between the Ethiopian government and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance water supply and sanitation projects for small and medium urban towns.
According to the program document, it is part of the Universal Access Plan, a countrywide strategic plan which aims at expanding the reach of water and sanitation services in Ethiopia, whose total project is estimated to cost some 75 million euros. So far, according to MoFEC, a 20 million euros loan has been secured from France Development Agency and 15 million euros from Italian government.
According to the bill, the loan that MoFEC already secured will be transferred for urban water development bureaus as credit schemes through Water Development Fund Offices.
After deliberating on the provisions of the draft proclamation, the House referred both bills to Budget and Finance Affairs Standing Committee.