ASUNCION – The European Union on Monday granted 46 million euros (about $52 million) in non-reimbursable aid to Paraguay to improve the quality of education, among other things.
The funds were delivered in accord with an agreement signed at the Foreign Ministry in Asuncion by Paraguayan Foreign Minister Eladio Loizaga, Education Minister Enrique Riera and the EU envoy to Paraguay, Alessandro Palmero.
The funds will be allocated to improving educational quality, developing elementary schooling and consolidating an educational system based on diversity and inclusion of students, the Foreign Ministry said.
The aid grant will also serve to strengthen higher education and the Education and Culture Ministry, all via a four-year program.
“The resources come tied to an agenda and a plan that we’re going to work on with (the EU). We’re aiming for teacher training in early education and also the creation of centers of excellence. The training of our teachers cannot wait,” Riera told reporters.
The education minister also said that “this money will be invested in the best way, with the appropriate transparency and it will directly reach its beneficiaries.”
Riera said that, to be able to use the funds, the agreement will have to receive approval from the National Congress.
He added that the funds “will be injected directly into the budget, via the National Congress, ... and the areas (where they will be invested) will be clear” so that later the Education Ministry may implement the budget.
The EU has supported Paraguay’s educational policies since 2009, when it contributed 58 million euros (about $65 million) to the sector.
In all, the European institution has agreed to provide a total of 168 million euros (about $190 million) to Paraguay in cooperative aid through 2020.