Ethiopian parliament approves $1.4 billion additional budget

To mitigate the economic and social impacts of COVID-19, Ethiopian Parliament on Friday approves an addition budget of 48.6 billion birr (about $1.43).

Most of the additional budget will be used for supplying food and necessary facilities for some 15 million Ethiopians affected by the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), according to the Minister of Finance Ahmed Shide, who briefed the members of the parliament. He stated that in addition to the new 15 million Ethiopians expected to be exposed to food insecurity already another 15 million are getting food aid in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia’s total budget for the fiscal year started July 8, 2019 was 386.9 billion birr ($13.48 billion at the exchange rate of one year ago – June 2019). Inside sources say that this year the country is planning to increase its budget close to half a trillion birr. Since the outbreak of the global pandemic that led the country to partial lock down, the Government of Ethiopia has been taking several measures to rescue its economy from collapse and help companies to maintain their employees.

The stimulus package of the government include, ordering the National bank of Ethiopia, the regulatory body, to pump in some 15 billion birr (over $441 million at the current exchange rate) into private banks to avoid liquidity problem. As a result, some of the banks have managed to extend loan payment period for their clients removed interests for a certain period of time. In addition, special sector specific package is also provided for investors engaged in the horticulture, hotel and tourism, among others.