Govt. scrambles to sign up aid commitments as deadlock over peace talks drags on

The government is hoping to sign up a record amount of aid this year, most of it from money pledged at the Tokyo donor conference in 2002. The government is hoping to sign up a record amount of aid this year, most of it from money pledged at the Tokyo donor conference in 2002. However, agreements for less than half this aid had been signed by the end of the third quarter.

During the next few months loan commitments of over US 700 mn will have to be signed to meet the government target of US$ 1.2 bn for the year, announced to the donors.

Economists say the ambitious target would be a record if it can be achieved.

Last year was the best on record, with commitments of a billion dollars.

Aid pledged at the Tokyo meeting was tied to progress in the peace process but polarized opinion has prevented any progress this year in the peace front.

Donors also told LBR the lower aid commitments in the first nine months of the year reflect the lack of progress in the peace process.

The government has already got donor commitments of US$ 328 mn from money pledged at Tokyo and expect a further US$ 598 mn in commitments before the end of