The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has expressed concerns over the dwindling resource envelope of the East African Community (EAC). These concerns emerged on Wednesday as the lawmakers approved the Community’s $91.7 million budget for the fiscal year 2021/22, which represents a 6 per cent drop or $5.8 million compared to the previous year. The House approved the budget after debating it for about eight hours on just hours before the new financial year started on July 1. The reduction, according to lawmakers, reflects a remarkable fall in contributions from EAC member states. “The Committee finds it ironic that while the Community continues to grow geographically and institutionally, the Council of Ministers has continued to clamour for a reduction in Partner States contribution towards the EAC budget,” Dennis Namara, the chairperson of the EALA’s Committee on General Purpose The expected contribution from member countries towards the EAC budget in 2021/22 will be slightly over $44 million compared to $46.8 million in the previous year. Support from development partners dropped by 10 per cent from $41.9 million to $37.6 million during the period under review MP Nakawuki Susan Nsambu said that she finds the EAC budget for this financial year to be unrealistic considering that the community had a budget of $126 million in 2014/2015. “This budget is being read at a time when the momentum of the integration process is increasing. People have a lot of expectations. When you look at the budget speech, we have to implement the customs union, the common market protocol, there are institutions that should be established to foster the monetary union; we are working on the constitution of the political federation, but the budget keeps going down! So, I find a contradiction in these two,” she said. MP Paul Mwasa Musamali said that the EAC Partner States are contributing far less than one per cent of their estimated $68 billion combined national budget to fund the Community, indicating that if they made it at least one per cent, the EAC activity financing would be strengthened. Citing some cases, he said that the East African Kiswahili Commission funding to operationalize Kiswahili as one of the official languages of EAC got over $115,000 reduction [to $1.28 million], while the East African Health Research Commission suffer funding shortage for research development to tackle diseases. “Claiming that the issue of sustainable funding and the reduction of the Community budget has been affected by the [Covid-19] pandemic is a lie, he said, indicating that the national budgets of EAC Partner States have increased. He urged the Council of Ministers to take the issue of sustainable funding for the Community seriously, with the EAC Secretary-General, and “ensure that we have an authentic funding mechanism.” This she stated could help achieve the building of a sustainable Community.