EU Dis­burses Sec­ond Tranche of EC$12.5M to St. Kitts & Ne­vis for So­cial and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

The Euro­pean Union has dis­bursed EC$12.5 mil­lion (4.2M euro) to St. Kitts and Ne­vis, part of an over­all EC$220 mil­lion (71M euro) al­lo­cated to St. Kitts and Ne­vis for the pe­riod 2006-2017 fol­low­ing re­form of the EU’s Com­mon Agri­cul­tural Pol­icy, which prompted the EU to es­tab­lish a sugar ad­just­ment scheme.

Specif­i­cally the EU’s in­ter­ven­tion is in­tended to stim­u­late macro-eco­nomic re­form to re­duce vul­ner­a­bil­ity, as well as to en­cour­age and fa­cil­i­tate in­vest­ment. It is also ex­pected to as­sist in im­prov­ing com­pet­i­tive­ness in the pro­duc­tion and ex­port of goods and ser­vices, en­hance so­cial poli­cies and pro­tect the most vul­ner­a­ble.

The pre­vi­ous dis­burse­ment sup­ported the launch of a ju­ve­nile co-ed­u­ca­tional re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre for 30 res­i­dents; re­form of the So­cial Devel­op­ment As­sis­tance Act so as to im­prove im­ple­men­ta­tion of so­cial pro­tec­tion pro­grammes; up­dat­ing of al­ter­na­tive en­ergy leg­is­la­tion lead­ing to a more com­pet­i­tive pri­vate sec­tor and im­prove en­ergy se­cu­rity for house­holds; the es­tab­lish­ment of a land registry; and train­ing for tech­ni­cal and vo­ca­tional pro­fes­sion­als. it is also ex­pected to strengthen St. Kitts and Ne­vis’ Pub­lic Finance Man­age­ment Sys­tem as well as the fis­cal space avail­able to gov­ern­ment through bud­get sup­port.

Upon the dis­burse­ment of the lat­est tranche EU Am­bas­sador Mikael Bar­fod said: “We are pleased to be able to make this pay­ment to St. Kitts and Ne­vis, as it helps to sup­port the cur­rent pos­i­tive macro-eco­nomic outlook of the coun­try. How­ever, St. Kitts and Ne­vis should con­tin­u­ously pro­mote the di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of the econ­omy to pre­vent overde­pen­dence on any sin­gu­lar ac­tiv­ity.”

In its broad per­spec­tive the over­all as­sis­tance will sup­port im­ple­men­ta­tion of St. Kitts and Ne­vis 2012-2017 So­cial Pro­tec­tion Strat­egy which has as its em­pha­sis, more ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive tar­get­ing of so­cial safety nets, with spe­cial at­ten­tion be­ing placed on the youth. There­fore the as­sis­tance is ex­pected to pro­mote em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, pro­duc­tiv­ity and com­pet­i­tive­ness of the labour force through hu­man re­source strength­en­ing, as well as pri­vate sec­tor devel­op­ment by strength­en­ing the ar­eas in which the coun­try has the most out­stand­ing eco­nomic growth op­por­tu­ni­ties.

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