The finance ministry has approved a 5.16 billion birr budget for Addis Ababa for the new fiscal year, which began on 8 July. The allotted sum represents a 1.1 billion birr increase over the budget for the last tax year. Just under 85 per cent of the budget will be managed centrally while the rest will be administered through the capitals ten sub-cities, the lower level of administration. The construction of low-cost houses, or condominiums, for people currently living in informal settlements, job creation especially for young people, improving access to education and health care and developing infrastructure have all been indicated as priorities by the caretaker city administration, which took office in May 2006 for a year pending the organisation of fresh elections (see news item 17 May 2006). The money will be raised through a combination of local taxation, direct aid, bank loans and the Road Fund, which was established in 1998 to finance road maintenance and oversee road safety.

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