The European Union (EU) has disbursed P40, 586,800 (approx. 3.320 million EUR) to the Government of Botswana as part of its budget support programme for the Human Resource Development Sector Policy Support Programme.
The disbursement supports actions taken to reduce the risks to a mother’s life associated with pregnancy and childbirth and to increase the survival rate of infants and children under the age of five (Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5).
“This was the final payment under the Human Resource Development Support Programme, which has to-date disbursed more than 100 Million EUR (approx. P1.2 billion) to the Government to support its efforts to reform the education system, the public finance management system and also in its work in achieving the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5,” EU said.
“This payment follows an assessment conducted in June 2017 with stakeholders from the concerned ministries, civil society and the EU Delegation in Gaborone. Different indicators that had been mutually agreed on were evaluated.”
The general conditions have been satisfactorily met and the government is commended for its sound stability-oriented macro-economic policies and fiscal transparency. The Government is encouraged to continue the positive efforts and expand towards online availability of additional key budget documents, such as in-year reports.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness achieved the following indicators: community support strategy developed; IMCI skills of primary care nurses and doctors enhanced; and implementation plan for the integrated Health Service Plan (IHSP) developed. The fourth indicator target concerning the reduction of direct obstetric case fatality has not been achieved.
The assessment also noted that the major reorganisation of the education sector in October 2016 increased the challenges on the coordination of the sector as a whole. There is need to strengthen the leadership to operationalise the Education and Training Strategic Sector Plan (ETSSP).
The recent focus on teacher training, TVET and monitoring and evaluation is applauded, as these are key issues for the development of the sector.
The disbursement is part of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). The EU is currently looking into possibilities for future cooperation with Botswana under the 11th EDF in the fields of vocational training and economic diversification.