Guinea-Bissau - Economic development

A main objective of the Guinea-Bissau government is the development of agriculture and infrastructure. Foreign aid averaged $64.3 million per year from 1982–85. Multilateral aid accounted for almost half this sum, chiefly from the IDA. The first development plan (1983–88) called for self-sufficiency in food supplies, with 25% of a $403.3 million investment going for construction and public works, 18% for rural development, and 14% for transport.

The second development plan (1988–91) was to be totally financed by foreign aid. Numerous countries and intergovernmental organizations have provided food aid, technical assistance, and balance-of-payments support.

In 1999, the prime minister toured Europe in search of aid. Portugal contributed $4 million, Sweden $2.3 million, and the total of the donor community's commitments reached over $200 million. Rebuilding of the capital city, replacement of one-quarter of a million refugees, investment in infrastructure, and financing of the external debt, were among the goals of foreign aid slated for economic development.

In 2000, Guinea-Bissau qualified for almost $800 million in debt service relief under the International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, geared toward reducing poverty and stimulating economic growth. That year, it negotiated a three-year $18 million Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) Arrangement with the IMF to support the government's 2000–03 economic reform program. Following approval of the assistance, the IMF stated the country had lost budgetary control, with large unauthorized expenditures, particularly on defense. A drop in world cashew prices and a loss of foreign program financing in 2001 resulted in a decrease in economic activity. The country in 2003 had yet to fully recover from the 1998–99 civil war.

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