AFRICA/ANGOLA - 2013 State budget: social spending increases but those for the defense are still remain very high
Luanda (Agenzia Fides) - The state budget in 2013 in Angola, approved by the National Assembly on January 15, is 6.6 trillion kwanza (about 69 billion U.S. dollars), an increase of 50% compared to 2012. The Government has pointed out that the financial law this year plans to allocate one third of the state budget (exactly 33.5%) for social spending, including health care, education, construction of housing for the poor, environmental protection and social care.
The newspaper "Makaangola", which analyzed the voices of expenditure of the budget, while acknowledging a strong increase in social spending, notes that funding for the Presidency, the military and internal security remain much higher than those for the development and the civil sector.
The Presidency, for example, will receive $ 1 billion and $ 800 million, compared to a billion and a half for the Ministry of Health. Most of the funds for the Presidency (81%) will cover the cost of the security of the President (a sort of army parallel to the official, the newspaper noted). The internal security service (Serviço de Inteligencia and de Segurança de Estado, SINSE) will receive 695 million dollars, while the external intelligence (Serviço de Inteligencia externa, SIE) for only its activity abroad will have $ 340 million against 380.4 million dollars of the internal budget of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Ministry of Interior and Defense will receive respectively 4.7 and 5.7 billion dollars. Despite the funds received, the newspaper said that the army cannot ensure decent living conditions to its soldiers, to the point that among the military there is a high rate of tuberculosis due to the dilapidated barracks where they are housed. And the conditions of the police are just as precarious.
Angola is a Country rich in natural resources, from oil to diamonds to name just the most important, and has a huge agricultural potential, but is still 148th place (out of 187) in the Index of Nations Human Development United. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 26/01/2013)
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