Tanzania praised for better use of aid, scores low on graft war

20 Nov

Tanzania_flag_mapTanzania Development Partners have said despite positive signs in 2012/13 general budget support there has been stagnation in the fight against corruption in key sectors like health, energy and port operations.

Speaking during General Budget Support (GBS) Annual Review in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Chair of Group in Tanzania – who is also the Swedish Ambassador to the country – Lennarth Hjelmaker said corruption is still a problem in the country.

“The Assessment shows that a more active fight against corruption is needed.

After positive signs in 2012-13, there has been stagnation in the fight against corruption, including a lack of movement on specific anti-corruption cases in key sectors…It seems that there is still an underuse of administrative sanctions for petty corruption offense,” he said.

According to Hjelmaker, DPs have also expressed concern over certain human rights issues or more generally accountability when implementing government commitments related to the right to information and to protect and promote freedom of the media.

He cited areas where reforms are moving at a snail’s pace as including education where both primaryand secondary school pass rates have been dropping and pupil-teacher ratios have not improved as planned.

The DPs said however that an independent evaluation of GBS in Tanzania has confirmed that the aid modality does deliver tangible results and allows the government to spend more on development sectors such as in education, health, water and infrastructure.

According to DPs, Tanzania has done well in decentralisation of management of natural resources, improved budget transparency and procurement, with the number of districts with three or more nurses and midwives per 10,000 inhabitants – exceeding the targets.

However the country has underperformed on water where more than half of the households in rural areas are still lacking access to safe and clean water.

Hjelmaker said as a consequence the 2014 commitments and disbursements from DPs will be affected, as the performance tranches cannot be realised in full.

He said it is a good move that “Tanzania is raising more internal revenues and that dependence on donor funding in slowly decreasing,” adding however that the DPs would continue to support the country in GBS and different areas.

Last year DPs largely fulfilled obligations in line with their current agreements for 2012/13. A total of USD 584 million was disbursed against the USD 495 million committed. Two thirds were disbursed within the first quarter. Two out of the 15 disbursements were delayed.

For her part, Finance deputy minister, Saada Mkuya, expressed satisfaction with the country’s performance, saying the government was taking measures to ensure that such challenges are addressed.

The deputy minister said over past eight years budget support has influenced growth and improved outcomes in the education sector and in reducing non-income poverty.

SOURCE: http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/index.php?l=61698

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