EU pledges over €70 million to Latin America and the Caribbean

By Benjamin Flowers

The European Union (EU), this week, pledged over €70 million in funding to the Latin American and Caribbean regions to support sustainable development.

The EU made the pledge during the its two-day ministerial meeting with the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) held in Santo Domingo from October 25-26. At the meeting the EU said that it would be rolling out sustainable development programs totaling some €74 million.

The EU said that its aim is to improve the living conditions of people within the CELAC states by 2030, in accordance with the “Transforming Our World: the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development”, agreed to by the United Nations in 2015.

For the Caribbean, the EU allotted €44.2 million, of which €9.2 million will be dedicated for the technical assistance programme for sustainable energy in region (TAPSEC).

“The programme intends to support the region in its effort of achieving a transition towards sustainable energy and a low-carbon economic growth path,” the EU said.

The assistance will be focused in three main areas: adopting and implementing regulatory frameworks that enable investments in new renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies; improving the availability of energy information and statistics; and establishing financing mechanisms for the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

The EU dedicated €30 million to Latin America, which includes €10 million for a new continent-wide security programme EL PACTO. The EL PACTO, is the first EU cooperation programme in Latin America that covers the whole penal chain: police, justice and the penitentiary system.

The EU will also support projects in areas such as cooperation initiatives in fields such as agriculture and private sector development.

Overall, the EU committed over €710 million in 2016, in key sectors such as climate change, trade, private sector and investment, security and governance.

The European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean have been in strategic partnership since the first bi-regional Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1999. The EU is also one of the major importers of Belizean goods. For the first nine months of 2016, the EU has imported $185.8 million worth of Belizean goods.

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