About 700 to $800 million of financial pledge to Gambia is grant

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EYEAFRICA TV: Brussels: BELGIUM: Permanent secretary of Gambia’s finance ministry has told Eye Africa TV from Brussels that out of the total 1.6 billion US dollar financial pledge for The Gambia a recent donor conference organised for the country in Brussels, 700 to 800 million US dollar will be on grant condition.

Lamin Camara said they went to the donor conference with a 1.6 billion dollar financing for the National Development Plan (NDP) 51 priority projects and eventually had 1.7 billion United States dollars; calling that “unprecedented.”

European Union and donor partners organised the two days International Donor Conference for The Gambia which brought together world powers and international organizations to seek funding for the development of the West African nation which is regaining its 22 years of isolation from the international community.

The donors this week announced they have reached a total pledge of 1.7 billion dollars for The Gambia and Mr. Camara said if the pledges become possible; it would spark the countries development to high degree.

“This is great and unprecedented with even the World Bank pledging about 300 million dollars grant, European Union about 365 million dollars and African Development Bank about 100 million. Other countries pledges amount to about 700 million dollars in grant form and the Islamic Development Bank about 600 million. Other bilateral countries are also coming in and we are hopeful that more will be coming.”

Mr. Camara said The Gambia is a highly indebted country so authorities would contract the loans but a lot of care has to be taken. “We would rather go for more concessional possibilities. On the grant side we should be able to access the funds and in terms of conditions, it is not very stringent with what is on the ground.”

He said by and large, Gambian authorities want to go for highly concessional loan facilities, saying the country is currently bankrupt so if the pledges become possible it will place The Gambia to another level.

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