The European Union on Tuesday signed three new agreements with St. Lucia, Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda, to support post-hurricane recovery and reconstructions efforts.
The agreements were signed on the margins of the second EU-Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Foreign Ministers meeting.
They were signed by Stefano Manservisi, Director-General for International Cooperation and Development, with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and CARICOM Affairs of Dominica, Francine Baron, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of St Lucia representing CARIFORUM, Sarah Flood-Beaubrun and Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda, Karen-Mae Hill.
The financing agreements amount to €30 million.
Some countries in the Caribbean were severely impacted by hurricanes Irma and Maria last year.
In the case of Dominica, damages and losses were calculated at 226 per cent of GDP, while the destruction on the island of Barbuda resulted in the evacuation of the entire population to Antigua.
The €11 million programme for Dominica will support the implementation of the national recovery plan through budget support.
The €5 million programme for Antigua and Barbuda aims to support housing reconstruction for low-income families and the €14 million programme with CARIFORUM will support the Caribbean Disaster Management Agency (CDEMA) in further enhancing the region’s disaster preparedness and response capacity.
The three programmes are part of a larger package of €74 million adopted this week.
The package that will support the region to “build-back-better” and promote resilience vis-à-vis future natural hazards, follows from the pledge made by the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, at the CARICOM-UN high-level conference in New York in November 2017.
Manservisi also signed the Addendum to the National Indicative Programme for Jamaica following the mid-term review, with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith.
The additional €20 million will target initiatives in the area of citizen security.
Meanwhile, a €15 million disbursement on the sugar programme for Jamaica was agreed.
This payment was made in recognition of the progress made by the Jamaican Government in the transformation of the sugar industry over the past ten years.
Jamaica’s sugar sector has transformed to become more competitive, increasing productivity and environmental sustainability, whilst supporting young people and social challenges in sugar-dependant areas.
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