EU and CDB Partner to Launch EPA/ CSME Standby Facilities for Capacity Building

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The European Union (EU) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) recently signed two Agreements totalling USD9 million (EUR6.95 million) to support CARICOM countries in their continued progress towards implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). The combined agreements represent a total amount of EC$24,415,300 (EUR6, 950,000). USD1.26 million of this amount have already been disbursed to the CDB. The "CSME Standby Facility for Capacity Building" aims to provide capacity building measures to CARICOM Member States in the implementation of the CSME at the national level. It is expected to strengthen the administrative capacity of national CSME implementation units. The "EPA Standby Facility for Capacity Building" seeks a similar result with the national administrations in CARIFORUM Member States (CARICOM plus the Dominican Republic) in charge of EPA Implementation. Both programmes will be managed by the CDB, and run until the end of 2015. All Member States are expected to benefit from at least one grant under each facility, whilst some resources under the EPA stand-by facility have been set aside specifically for Haiti. These grants will range from USD203,000 to USD284,000 (EUR150,000 to EUR210,000). The CDB will provide technical assistance to Member States in order to ensure that States with lesser capacity are in a position to access the Standby Facilities for Capacity Building and to improve the quality of applications. These two facilities form part of the overall support of the EU to the Caribbean Regions' activities in relation to CSME and EPA, which stands at USD37 million (EUR27.5 million) and USD63 million (EUR46.5 million) respectively. Commenting on the objectives of the two programmes, the EU Head of Delegation, Ambassador Mikael Barfod, said: "The European Union is delivering on its commitment to support the beneficial integration of CARICOM and CARIFORUM states both within their own Region as well as into the global economy in particular through the advancement of the CSME and the EPA". Kindly download PDF attached to learn more about the EPA and CSME Standby Facilities for Capacity Building. Kindly visit President's Speeches to access Dr. Smith's Remarks at the Launch of the EPA/ CSME Standby Facilities on March 22, 2013.

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