Caribbean News Service (CNS).
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Apr 01 2016 – The European Union has disbursed EC$12.5 million (4.2M euro) to St. Kitts and Nevis, which forms 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 macroeconomic 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.