The Ethiopian Parliament, the House of People’s Representatives, has approved a supplementary budget of $1.45 billion (49.6 billion birr) the federal government requested to deal with "prevailing problems".
The supplementary budget, it has been learned, is intended to help combat economic frustrations COVID-19 is feared might cause at the national level. The number of confirmed positive coronavirus cases in Ethiopia has started to spike since last week.
The 12 to 15 billion birr budget approved before the current Ethiopian fiscal year comes to close in early June to prevent the pandemic is being utilized for the same purpose, it was reported. The supplementary budget is requested since the previous amount could not be sufficient given the current circumstances, Mesfin Cherinet, Deputy Acting Government Whip, told the MPs.
To cover this cost, 28.6 billion birr budgetary support was extended by development partners, while the remaining 20 billion birr is expected to be covered with a loan to be obtained from local sources, Mr. Mesfin noted.
The newly approved supplementary budget is set to be utilized for the purchase of materials to help fight COVID-19, as well as for humanitarian aid.