Ethiopia approves supplementary budget of 27.89 billion birr

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ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopia’s council of ministers approved a supplementary budget of 27.89 billion birr ($877.87 million) for 2019/2020 to finance economic reforms, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office said in a statement on Monday.

The funds add to the 386.9 billion birr of government spending that the Horn of Africa nation of 109 million people approved in 2019.

“18 billion birr from the total supplementary budget is allocated to overcome current economic challenges,” the statement posted on the Prime Minister’s office Facebook page said, without giving specifics.

“The rest of the money, which is 2 billion birr and 7.9 billion birr, will be allocated for safety net programs and the national implementation of equal pay for equal work, respectively.”

Abiy, who took office in 2018, has embarked on ambitious economic reforms trying to open up one of Africa’s fastest-growing but most closed economies. It has already begun the process of privatising its telecoms, banking and sugar sectors.

($1 = 31.7700 birr)

Reporting by Dawit Endeshaw; Writing by Omar Mohammed; Editing by Alex Richardson

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