The Mozambican government and the 18 donors and funding agencies who provide direct support to the state budget on 13 April concluded their joint review of the government's performance in 2005, assessing it as "positive".
The 18 countries and agencies are known as "Programme Aid Partners". Their budget support amounts to about a third of all foreign aid to Mozambique.
For 2006, 17 of the 18 partners have promised around $300 million of budget support. The 18th, which only joined the group recently, is the African Development Bank (ADB), whose contribution in 2006 is expected to be $60 million. The Programme Aid Partners also include the World Bank, the European Union, most EU member states, Switzerland and Canada. The main aid donors who are still refusing to provide budget support are the United States and Japan.
Opening the meeting between the government and its partners, the Minister of Planning and Development, Aiuba Cuereneia, said the joint review, which took place over 45 days, was marked by "open and frank debate about the performance of both sides, in order to achieve a consensual perspective to seek for better solutions".
Cuereneia reiterated the government's commitment to implement the strategy contained in the recently concluded second Action Plan for the Reduction of Absolute Poverty (PARPA II). "This commitment is guaranteed", he said, "because the government's central mission is the fight against poverty and the continual improvement of the living conditions of the population".
The outgoing chairperson of the donor group, Swedish Ambassador Maj Inger Klingvall, declared that, as a result of the positive outcome of the joint review, the partners were recommending continued budget support for 2007. However, she warned that donors are concerned that the government failed to meet agreed targets in the area of governance. For the entire programme there were 49 targets. The government did well in macroeconomic management where it met all ten of the targets, and in economic development where it met 13 out of 16. But in governance, eight out of 13 targets were missed, thus compromising public sector reform and the fight against corruption.
Nonetheless Klingvall believed there was "strong political will" to make speedy advances in anti-corruption measures, reforming the justice sector, and the public service as a whole, and in improving public financial management.
Klingvall said donors are also concerned at the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS. She hoped that the joint review "has encouraged the government to set its sights higher, and to sharpen still further the fight against this pandemic".
She praised the political leadership shown by President Armando Guebuza in the battle against AIDS, and hoped that the government will prove able "to maximise all resources" in this struggle.