July 16, 2024
Lesotho: Key Priority Area I Receives Little Development Assistance-Finance Minister
– By Godswill Odiong

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The Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Dr Retšelisitsoe Matlanyane says the 2020/21 and 2021/22 reports show that the Key Priority Area I (KPAI) of the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP) II received little development assistance.

She said this when officially opening the High-Level Aid Coordination Forum held in Maseru on Wednesday.

Dr Matlanyane said the KPA I identifies the priority sectors of Agriculture, Manufacturing, Tourism and Technology and Innovation sectors as the key engines of economic growth private sector-led job creation, therefore calling for further support of the Development Partners in prioritizing this key area while continuing to support other key areas of the extended NSDP II.

She said the government is in the process of updating the Lesotho Partnership Policy of 2013, saying the revised policy seeks to accelerate joint action for effective development partnership along the principles of ownership, harmonization, use of country systems and mutual accountability, among others.

“I, therefore, found it befitting to highlight you on the Policy so that we can have an informed policy dialogue and development cooperation that can effectively contribute towards national development,” she stressed.

Defining the Ministerial Coordination Committee, she said it serves as a body for mutual accountability that provides the forum for continuous dialogue between the government and Development Partners.

She mentioned that other specific responsibilities of the Committee include facilitating high-level discussions on the alignment of development interventions with Government priorities thus making strategic decisions on development assistance to Lesotho.

She, therefore, expressed gratitude to the Development Partners for their continued support in the course for development, saying their contribution towards the achievement of the Key Priority Areas (KPAs), Strategic Objectives and Key Policy Interventions outlined in the NSDP is of critical value.

She noted that the country has not only benefitted in terms of financial inflows but also from technical assistance, capacity building and innovation.

Also Speaking the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Amanda Khosi Mukwashi said the Aid Coordination forum is a necessary platform for the effective coordination of resources by all Development Partners to avoid duplication of efforts, saying if the partners are better coordinated in all their areas of work the impact would reach further and wider.

She said food security, unemployment, gender-based violence and data gaps are among the issues that have been tabled this year to see how development partners can support the government in tackling these issues.

“In March, the Government was able to provide updates in relation to the upcoming local government elections and partners were able to make relevant commitments for the necessary support required, and the discussions on the debt situation of Lesotho” she said.

She noted that In May, the Ministry of Health presented the plans for the Lesotho Demographic Health Survey (DHS), saying so far, the partners have raised USD 2,400,000.00 against the required funds (USD 3,052,220.00) and the funding gap today is USD 652,220.00.

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