By Tebello Metsing
MASERU — The European Union on Tuesday gave M560 million to support programmes for disadvantaged children.
Last year the EU disbursed M300 million towards ensuring that more people have access to clean water.
Part of the funds went to the Metolong Dam project that will provide safe drinking water to lowlands towns of Teya-teyaneng, Morija and Roma.
Finance Minister Timothy Thahane and the EU ambassador, Hans Duynhouwer, signed Tuesday’s agreement on behalf of government and the EU, respectively.
The two parties announced that the M560 million would be used to support orphans and other vulnerable children.
Thahane said the water and children’s programmes would assist government in addressing key development needs and maintaining sound economic policies.
They would also go towards ensuring that there is progress in public finance management reforms.
Thahane said the EU support would also be helpful in implementing Lesotho’s national strategic development plan.
“We seek to accelerate sustainable economic growth and strengthen social protection as well as beef up the fight against HIV/Aids,” he said.
“We are also making efforts to foster good governance for improved service delivery and promote human development.”
Speaking on the same occasion, the EU ambassador, Duynhouwer said the union is one of Lesotho’s leading supporters.
He said the EU was committed to using government systems for delivering its support.
“Only transparent and accountable government systems can ensure that our support is to the benefit of the most vulnerable,” Duynhouwer said.
MDGs include eradicating extreme poverty, improving access to education, promotion of gender equality, reduction of child and maternal mortality rate as well as ensuring environmental sustainability.