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US signs P10.5-billion PHL aid package to promote inclusive growth, ease of doing business

us signs p10 5 billion phl aid package to promote inclusive growth ease of doing business 816x297 - US signs P10.5-billion PHL aid package to promote inclusive growth, ease of doing business

THE US Agency for International Development (USAID) said it signed a P10.5 billion, five-year bilateral assistance agreement with the Department of Finance to support projects promoting inclusive economic growth.

USAID said in a statement the aid will also support projects to improve the business environment and digital-economy and innovation initiatives boosting small businesses.

It said the recently-signed agreement is one of the four new development assistance agreements the USAID is planning to launch this year for the Philippines. The proposed agreements have a combined value of P32.7 billion over five years.

“This new USAID and Department of Finance bilateral agreement will expand our support to help the Philippines achieve long-term, private sector-led economic growth and strengthen economic governance. These programs will create jobs and help ensure more inclusive, broad-based economic development,” said USAID Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II.

The aid will also support activities to improve the capacity of civil society organizations in program management and policy making, and facilitate partnerships between the government and stakeholders to help them make data-driven decisions, USAID said. It said it will continue to support the government’s goal of improving public sector transparency and accountability, in advancing the rule of law and improving local governance.

Other new programs will be implemented by various agencies, including the Health department which is tasked to boost health systems and services, especially for the treatment for tuberculosis, as well as expand the access for family planning services and community-based drug treatments.

In May, USAID said it will give financial aid to micro, small, and medium enterprises to help them recover from the ongoing crisis.

The US has extended P228.8 billion to the Philippines over the past 20 years, including P780 million to fund pandemic-containment measures. — Beatrice M. Laforga

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