EU to provide 142m Euro for strengthening public finance, social security

DHAKA, The European Union(EU) will provide 142

million Euros to support key national reform agenda in public financial

management and social security in Bangladesh.

With the launch of the two EU-funded programmes in Bangladesh today, the

EU reiterates its commitment to the eradication of poverty, inequality and

its support to Bangladesh to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

and to graduate to a middle-income country, said an EU press release.

These EU-funded programmes aim to contribute to implement two important

sector strategies. The Public Financial Management Reform Strategy (PFM-RS)

sets out the key goals and objectives of reforms in the sector and identifies

priority actions.

The National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) sets an important roadmap to

enhance the governance, institutional capacity and accountability of the

social security system to better serve the needs of poor and vulnerable

Bangladeshis, along their life-cycle.

Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Monowar Ahmed said, The

Government of Bangladesh acknowledges the longstanding support of the EU in

sectors as crucial as PFM and social security. We are looking forward to

further strengthening our solid partnership with one of our key donors in

Bangladesh and together making an important contribution to reaching the SDGs

by 2030,

Public financial management and social protection represent fundamental

areas of collaboration for the EU in Bangladesh. As the country looks forward

to the 8th Five Year Plan, they remain key priorities, said the Ambassador

of the EU, Rensje Teerink.

The EU Ambassador also said the EU's contribution aims to address core

elements of system strengthening and policy development. The focus will be

on improving domestic resource mobilisation, promoting domestic

accountability and enhancing delivery of social security to Bangladeshis in

need with the shared objective to leave no one behind.

The press release said Bangladesh has made great developmental progress

over the last decades. The country still needs to address a number of

challenges and build new strengths to ensure inclusive growth. Transition to

middle-income status will also depend on addressing these challenges. PFM and

social security feature as salient preconditions.

The programme of support to the implementation of the PFM Reform Strategic

Plan, of EUR 10 million, aims at strengthening domestic revenue mobilisation

and domestic accountability.

It will provide targeted technical assistance to the government agencies

in the areas of domestic revenue mobilisation with the National Board of

Revenue (NBR) and domestic accountability with the Office of the Comptroller

and Auditor General and with the National Parliament.

The programme of support to NSSS reforms will provide EUR 132 million as

budget support, linked to jointly agreed performance indicators over the next

four years. The programme will address core elements of system strengthening

and policy development with a focus on women and young children.

Technical assistance will be also provided to support the cluster of

institutions responsible to coordinate and deliver NSSS reforms. This

includes the Cabinet Division, the Finance Division of the Ministry of

Finance, the General Economic Division of the Planning Commission, the

Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and the Ministry of Social Welfare.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)