Sweden and Ethiopia have signed cooperation and financial agreements worth about US $34 million, part of which will be used for rural development in Amhara state.
According to a Swedish government statement, the assistance to Amhara state will consist of supporting agriculture, micro-credits and road construction. The agreements were signed by Ethiopian Finance Minister Sufyan Ahmad and visiting Swedish Development Cooperation Minister Jan.O.Karlsson.
"Continuity and concrete measures are needed to strengthen and develop a poor region like Amhara, which is often seriously affected by drought and starvation," Karlsson said in the statement. "This agreement will enable us to concentrate on long-term development of the region."
According to the Ethiopian News Agency, Sufyan added that the agreement was aimed at improving livelihoods in Amhara state through "a sustainable increase in agricultural production".
The Swedish government statement noted that Ethiopia was one of the first recipients of Swedish aid which began in the 1950s. "Today development assistance focuses on poverty alleviation, and particularly on rural development," the statement said. "Efforts are also being made to promote human rights and Sweden is giving considerable humanitarian support to Ethiopia."
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