Photo above: EU Ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean, Mikael Barford, meets with St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris.
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts and Nevis, Apr. 3, (CMC) – The European Union has disbursed EC$12.5 million, as part of the federation’s sugar adjustment scheme.
This was revealed by the EU’s Ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean, Mikael Barford, during a recent meeting with Prime Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris.
Barfod also said the country is set to receive an additional disbursement of EC$12.5 million, by the end of this year, and this will mark the completion of the sugar compensation program.
“The context is that when the World Trade Organization was created, it became clear that the quotas that the European Union provided to sugar-producing countries could no longer be maintained,” Ambassador Barfod said, during an interview, last Thursday.
“We decided to compensate the sugar-producing countries that were amongst our partners for this, which became the sugar measures that we have in place today,” the Ambassador added.
According to a press release from the European Union, last Friday, “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 programs; 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.”
Barfod added that “there will be more assistance from our side to our partner St. Kitts and Nevis over the next four or five years.”
He said future assistance to St. Kitts and Nevis would probably come via the EU’s regional program, and added that the most recent tenders that are outstanding concern the provision of video surveillance and monitoring, because this is the highest priority of the St. Kitts and Nevis Government.
“That should be delivered soon,” he noted.
Concerning the outlook for the country, Barfod said the European Union has observed that the country is now scoring an “enviable” growth rate.
“At this particular point in time, it looks like St. Kitts and Nevis has got it right when it comes to economic reforms,” he said.