EU Provides EC$23.5M to St. Kitts for Social and Economic Development
The European Union has disbursed 6.325 million Euros (EC $23.55 Mil) to St. Kitts and Nevis, as part of a 12.9 million Euro (EC $48 Mil) grant in support of the country’s economic diversification following the closure of the country’s sugar industry.
The grant will support implementation of the 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 private sector development by strengthening the areas in which the country has the most outstanding economic growth opportunities.
Specifically the EU’s intervention will result in 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; development of a national qualifications framework; the establishment of a land registry; the installation of infrastructure at three commercial parks so as to facilitate business setup and operation; equipping of one technical and vocational education institution to deliver Caribbean qualification training programmes in hospitality and construction. 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.
The grant is part of the EU’s assistance to ACP sugar producing countries following reform of its Common Agricultural Policy in 2005, which prompted the EU to establish an adjustment scheme under which St. Kitts and Nevis was allocated an overall 68 million Euros for the period 2006-2017.
“The centre offers opportunities for embracing a “child-friendly school” environment. As many efforts have been undertaken since 2004, it is now necessary for the Centre to be functioning and operational. The Budget Support programme of the European Union is eager to disburse 750,000 euros once the Co-Ed Rehabilitation Centre is open for business, and has an established rehabilitation programme and curriculum implemented.
I hope to have the opportunity to discuss with Horizon teenagers about choices in life and opportunities for a better future. Many of them may be victims of violence in the family, child neglect or marginalisation, but the Horizon Center may be an opportunity to offer them a positive learning environment,” Ambassador Barfod said.