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


DHAKA, July 24, 2019 (BSS) – 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.