Whatever happened to the 11.8m Euro

Published on Friday, July 27, 2007

BELMOPAN, Belize: The Ministry of National Development has announced that official confirmation has been received from the European Commission Delegation in Jamaica that a grant of Euro 11.8 million, or BZ$32.5 million, has been allocated to Belize under Envelope ‘A’ of the 10th European Development Fund.

This BZ$32.5 million allocation represents a 20% increase from the original allocation indicated earlier by the European Commission. The increase in allocation is provided by the European Commission as an incentive to Belize and was calculated on the basis of Belize’s performance in governance, and credibility and extent of Belize’s commitment to governance reform.

Earlier this year the Ministry of National Development submitted Belize’s recent achievements in improved governance and Government’s plans for governance reform to the Commission, and based on this assessment Belize was granted 20% of the maximum 30% incentive.

The focus sector of the 10th European Development Fund is integrated rural development which is consistent with the overall EC programme in Belize. The Ministry indicates that this grant will target the improvement of social infrastructure in rural areas, improvement of the efficiency and competitiveness of rural industries and the diversification of rural enterprises. All of these interventions are consistent with Government’s recently approved National Poverty Elimination Strategy and Action Plan 2007-2011.

The Ministry has also announced that the European Commission has approved an additional sum of Euro 600,000 or BZ$1.6 million under Envelope ‘B’. Funding under Envelope ‘B” is targeted to be used for unforeseen needs such as emergency assistance, contributions to internally agreed debt relief initiative and support to mitigate the adverse effects of instability in export earnings. Joint programming for the use of both Envelopes ‘A’ and ‘B’, Envelope ‘B’ is expected to begin in early 2008.

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