European Union provides further support to CARICOM for EPA and CSME implementation

The European Union and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) recently signed two Agreements totalling US$9 million (6.95 million euro) to support CARICOM countries in their continued progress towards implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). US$1.26 million (958,800 euros) of this amount have already been disbursed to the CDB.

The “CSME Standby Facility for Capacity Building” aims to provide capacity building measures to CARICOM Member States in the implementation of the CSME at the national level. It is expected to strengthen the administrative capacity of national CSME implementation units.

The “EPA Standby Facility for Capacity Building” seeks a similar result with the national administrations in CARIFORUM Member States (CARICOM plus the Dominican Republic) in charge of EPA Implementation.

Both programmes will be managed by the CDB, and run until the end of 2015. All Member States are expected to benefit from at least one grant under each facility, whilst some resources under the EPA stand-by facility have been set aside specifically for Haiti. These grants will range from US$203,000 to US$284,000 (150,000 to 210,000 euros).

Both programmes will be managed by the CDB, and run until the end of 2015. All Member States are expected to benefit from at least one grant under each facility, while some resources under the EPA stand-by facility have been set aside specifically for Haiti. These grants will range from US$203,000 to US$284,000 (150,000 to 210,000 euros).

The CDB will provide technical assistance to Member States in order to ensure that States with lesser capacity are in a position to access the Standby Facilities for Capacity Building and to improve the quality of applications.

These two facilities form part of the overall support of the EU to the Caribbean regions’ activities in relation to CSME and EPA, which stands at US$37 million (27.5 million euro) and US$63 million (46.5 million euro) respectively.

Commenting on the objectives of the two programmes, the EU Head of Delegation, Ambassador Mikael Barfod, said: “The European Union is delivering on its commitment to support the beneficial integration of CARICOM and CARIFORUM states both within their own region as well as into the global economy in particular through the advancement of the CSME and the EPA“.

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