U.S. aid to Togo reaches new peak in 2021

Economic governance
Monday, 14 February 2022 16:04
U.S. aid to Togo reaches new peak in 2021

(Togo First) - New commitments from U.S. agencies rebounded in 2021, reaching their highest in two decades, according to ForeignAssistance.gov, the State Department platform that compiles data on U.S. foreign assistance. This record follows a drop in 2020, amid tensions between Lomé and Washington following the presidential election in Togo.

As of April 2, 2021, the date of the last update of foreign aid data, U.S. agencies had already committed $43 million (CFAF 24.7 billion) to Togo. This amount is well above the $25 million (14 billion FCFA) pledged in 2019, the second most prolific year for the African country since 2001.

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An increase driven by the MCC

In 2021, U.S. commitments were driven primarily by the final financial approvals of the MCC under the Threshold program with the Togolese authorities. The program, which entered its operational phase last year, has a budget of $34 million (CFAF 19.5 billion), spread over several sectors including ICT and land.

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$20 million for ICT

Unlike previous years when U.S. aid focused on the basic education and health sectors, in 2021, Uncle Sam's grants went largely to the ICT sector, especially to finance public policies in telecommunications and administrative management. More than $20 million (11 billion FCFA) in new commitments have been made by the MCC, to improve people's access to quality and affordable services. Ultimately, the commitments were aimed at attracting more private investments in the sector.

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27% of commitments already disbursed

Of the $43 million in commitments, some of which are to be spread over several years, 27%, or about $12 million (CFAF 7 billion), has already been disbursed, in 2021. This is the highest amount disbursed that year, Togo First noted.

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These disbursements were mainly in the health sector, through Family Health International (FHI 360), and in the education sector, notably through Catholic Relief Services and the Peace Corps, the leading U.S. development assistance agency in Togo, ahead of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), with more than $115 million in commitments.

Position in Africa

At the continental level (sub-Saharan Africa), the aid Togo received is well below the regional average estimated at $220 million. Togo ranked 31st in the list of U.S. aid destinations. The ranking is dominated by Ethiopia with $1.3 billion.

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Since 1946, Togo has received over $380 million in aid from the U.S., including only $11 million in military grants. This total amount does not include loans given by the US Exim bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), which total more than $150 million.

Fiacre E. Kakpo


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