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US to give $37.7 mln economic stimulus to Tanzania

Discussion in 'Biashara, Uchumi na Ujasiriamali' started by Invisible, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. Invisible

    Invisible Admin Staff Member

    Nov 3, 2009
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    By Katrina Manson
    Nov 3, 2009

    The United States will give Tanzania a $37.7 million economic stimulus package to help the poor country weather the impact of the world financial crisis, a senior U.S. treasury official said late on Monday.

    The money, part of a $255 million U.S. Global Financial Crisis Fund for eight countries, including four in Africa, will pay for meals for 400,000 schoolchildren in drought-prone districts, and pay workers who have lost their jobs to plant trees, fix rural roads and build food stores.

    The global slowdown has hit Tanzania's tourism receipts, its biggest foreign exchange earner, and dented demand for its coffee and cotton exports.

    U.S. officials in Dar es Salaam said economic shocks were hitting the poorest hardest, with 48,000 Tanzanians losing their jobs by April, according to the government.

    The U.S. wants to support east Africa's largest country as it struggles with slowing economic growth rates. The government sees growth at 5 percent in 2009 after 7.4 percent in 2008.

    Speaking in the 19th century State House, an Islamic palace guarded by two stuffed lions, U.S. deputy secretary of the Treasury Neal Wolin said the grant would target the "mwananchi", or ordinary citizens in the national Swahili language.

    U.S. donor agency USAID will also provide up to $10 million in microfinance for more than 1,000 small agribusinesses in the next five years. The U.N.'s World Food Programme will feed students in areas affected by declining prices of exports such as cotton, horticulture, coffee and gemstones.

    Wolin's visit is the first to Africa by a senior U.S. Treasury official since Barack Obama was elected President.

    Wolin, who visited Rwanda at the weekend, also toured an agricultural research station in Tanzania that is attempting to boost cassava yields. He travels to South Africa on Tuesday.

    Source: Reuters