The Annual Review of Multi-Donor Budget Support (MDBS) of Development Partners (DPs) to the Government of Ghana (GoG) begun in Accra on Monday.

The exercise is expected to wrap-up on Friday, May 14th 2010 of which a report would be published shortly after the Review week.

The Review looks at progress being made by the GoG in meeting the objectives set out in the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy II (GPRS II).

This according to Martin Saladin, Head of Cooperation, Switzerland Embassy in Ghana, would be done against a selection of agreed policy measures and result indicators known as targets, compiled in the Performance Assessment Framework (PAF).

The assessment, he noted takes place mainly in the Sector Working Groups where representatives of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and DPs involved in a specific sector discuss strategic plans, performance monitoring and implementation of harmonized projects.

In addition to measuring progress against the PAF, Mr. Saladin said a holistic assessment is also undertaken which takes into account the overall macroeconomic performance and the information covered in documents such as the Ghana Audit Service Reports on the Consolidated Fund, the Annual Progress Reports prepared by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), the External Review of Public Financial Management and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) macroeconomic and fiscal assessments.

The exercise would also carefully examine all the development issues facing the country including those related to health, energy, education and agriculture as enshrined in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as governance and government reforms.

The exercise will also map out development priorities for assessment in the following year. Based on the outcome of the Annual Review, DPs then decide on how much to contribute to Ghana’s budget.

Ghana is expected to boost its budget with a US$450 million support from the DPs this year, 2010 following last year’s joint annual review of Multi-Donor Budget Support between the Government and DPs of progress under the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy II.

The MDBS Annual Review is an annual series of meeting between the MDBS DPs and the GoG to discuss the overall implementation of the growth and poverty reduction strategy, including macroeconomic performance, as well as achievements against the PAF. The MDBS Annual Review is aligned with the review process of the NDPC.

Since its inception in 2003, MDBS is a major source of aid to the budget of Ghana has contributed approximately US$ 2 billion to the GoG. Last year (2009), Ghana had a general budget support of US$ 525.20 million as against US$ 277.90 million in 2003, according to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP).

Members of the MDBS group include eight (8) bilateral and three (3) multilateral development partners which include the African Development Bank, Canada, Denmark, the European Union, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the World Bank.

The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Kwabena Duffour in a statement read on his behalf at the launch of this year’s annual review appealed to the DPs to be flexible in their assessment of how funds they give for budgetary support are used.

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