Finnish President Tarja Halonen has reiterated that direct budgetary support to Mozambique will remain a commitment of her country.
This is in spire of the opposition to this form of foreign aid from some sectors of Finnish society, PANA reported, quoting the Mozambican News Agency, AIM.
Some politicians and academics argued that under this kind of support, the donors cannot have any control over the resources allocated.
“I am aware of the existence of voices that question direct budget support, but our support will be a commitment,” said Halonen
Despite this guarantee, she did not talk of any possibility of increasing the assistance to Mozambique.
However, all the 19 donors and funding agencies who provide budget support had made their pledges for 2009 known since as long as May and so there was never any realistic chance that Finland would increase its commitment at this late stage.
Finnish commitment to the Mozambican budget remains at seven million euros (slightly more than US$9 million), the same as in 2008.
The total Finnish pledge for assistance in the period 2008-2010 is 93 million euros, of which 21 million is earmarked for budget support.
With this, the bulk of Finnish aid still goes to supporting a number of specific projects.
Addressing reporters after a meeting with Mozambican President Armando Guebuza, who is on a working visit to Finland, Halonen said that issues relating to a future increase in assistance will be discussed by the foreign ministers of the two countries.
Halonen stressed that development plans must result from discussions between the governments of the countries concerned and their foreign partners, but the effective implementation is the responsibility of the beneficiary states, the partners being there only to verify the work in the field.