EU grants Afghanistan € 2.9 million in debt relief grant – Pajhwok Afghan News
KABUL (Pajhwok): The European Union (EU) on Tuesday announced the granting of 2.9 million euros in debt relief to Afghanistan.
The grant was intended to help Afghanistan meet its commitments and meet the sustainable development goals, the EU said in a statement.
He said the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has had serious health, social and economic consequences around the world, including in Afghanistan.
Many developing countries, where debt levels were already high before the onset of the crisis, are now at risk of becoming unsustainable.
The EU statement said: “Afghanistan faces a sharp drop in income due to the crisis, driven by restrictions on economic activity and trade.
“Tax revenues (in Afghanistan) fell 40% in April-May 2020, while the burden of spending on health and other social services increased.”
The EU noted that the Afghan government had succeeded in borrowing considerable sums from the IMF in the form of highly concessional loans to cover its budget deficit during the crisis.
He added that although Afghanistan’s debt level has remained low, its current revenue situation has increased its vulnerability.
EU Chargé d’Affaires Arnout Pauwels said: “Today’s announcement is good news for Afghanistan, as this additional funding will free up space to increase social, health and economic spending in response to the COVID-19 crisis. ”
The grant comes on top of the substantial support the EU has already provided to Afghanistan to tackle the pandemic, both bilaterally and through the COVAX facility, according to the envoy.
Coming at an important time, the support will also contribute to the macroeconomic stability of Afghanistan.
Since the start of the pandemic, the EU has mobilized nearly € 147 million in Afghanistan to tackle the immediate health crisis and provide humanitarian aid to those in need.
Being the largest donor to the COVAX facility, the EU and its Member States have enabled the delivery of nearly 500,000 doses of vaccine to Afghanistan.
pr / mud