For Ivory Coast’s Recovery, AFD Pledges More Than $500M

The United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire resumes its work in Abobo, Abidjan, on April 14, 2011, less than a week after former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo surrendered to the internationally recognized new president, Alassane Ouattara. The French Development Agency has committed €350 million ($504 million) in loan to support Ivory Coast's recovery from its recent political crisis. Photo by: Basile Zoma / United Nations

The board of directors at the French Development Agency, or AFD, has approved a loan of €350 million ($504 million) to help Ivory Coast recover from a recent political crisis and boost its economy.

“Over the past four months, Côte d’Ivoire’s economy has suffered serious repercussions from the crisis and the country’s public finances have been badly affected,” AFD said in an April 14 press release.” The Côte d’Ivoire State now has outstanding payments to settle, particularly for the civil service and State suppliers. Certain basic public services also need to be boosted immediately.”

AFD said the financing aims to restore order to the African country’s public finances in the short term, enabling the new government to back priority budget spending such as fulfilling its obligations to civil servants, and financing urgent social expenditure and sanitation works, particularly in Abidjan. It will also pay for costs of high labor-intensive railway works and help revive the national civic service program.

Last week, the French government pledged €400 million worth of aid to Ivory Coast, following the arrest of former leader Laurent Gbagbo, whose refusal to hand over power to Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized winner of last year’s presidential elections, led to months-long violence in the African country.

>> Donors Offer Aid to Ivory Coast

3 more countries get AFD financing

Aside from Ivory Coast, another African state and two countries from the Americas will receive financial assistance from AFD, as per its April 14 announcement.

Mozambique is due to get a loan of €40 million to support a project designed to improve water supply and service in outlying communities in its capital, Maputo. The project is currently in the completion phase, AFD noted.

The agency is lending $230 million to help ease congestion and reduce pollution in the Dominican Republic’s Greater Santo Domingo region.

Meanwhile, an AFD grant of €2 million will be given to Mexico’s National Forestry Agency to boost its sustainable forest management efforts.

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    Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.