- The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has recently signed an agreement with Tanzania to provide approximately US$ 22 million (2 billion yen) for the Seventh Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC7).
The PRSC7 is intended for policy and institutional reform.
The Tanzanian government has adopted a five-year National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty, known by its Swahili name as MKUKUTA. The strategy covers all development policy activity from 2005 to 2009, and establishes an overall structure for setting specific targets based on three major frameworks: economic growth and the reduction of income poverty, improved quality of life and social well being, and good governance and accountability.
The Tanzanian government places emphasis on alleviating poverty through economic growth, along with agricultural productivity and raising the level of governance at the local and central levels for a stronger national government.
JICA is not only providing financial assistance to the Tanzanian government with this loan, but is also supporting efforts to achieve MKUKUTA targets through policy and institutional assistance and active participation in locally held meetings.
The JICA has also dispatched specialists who are proposing policy and institutional improvements related to economic growth.
“In the fields of agriculture and governance, assistance is being provided for policy formulation and the building of an implementation framework at the central and local government level through technical cooperation,” the JICA said in a statement.
The statement said additional financial assistance will be coming from donors such as the World Bank, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden and the European Union, whose their cooperation would help to lessen the administrative burden placed on the Tanzanian government when requesting or receiving aid, and are even reducing their individual transaction costs.
“JICA is committed to promoting assistance that focuses on policy and institutional improvements in Tanzania, as well as effectively combining a variety of assistance methods to support development,” concluded the statement.
In October 2008, JICA became the world’s largest bilateral development agency following the merger with the overseas economic co-operation section of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). JICA took over the soft loans, formerly dispensed by JBIC, and the grant aid dispersed by Japan’s Foreign Ministry. For the first time, one Japanese agency is now providing technical assistance, soft loans and grant aid to developing countries. JICA works in 150 countries with a network of 100 overseas offices.
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