EU Allocates BDS$114 M to St. Kitts and Nevis for 2007-2010 Sugar Reform Assistance

The European Commission has allocated 42.286 million Euros (BDS$114M; EC$152M) to St. Kitts and Nevis for the period 2007-2010 as part of the Commission’s development assistance support following reform of the European Union’s sugar regime.

The figure is an estimate and could be revised upwards since there is scope for reallocation between countries after the rate of implementation of this EC assistance is evaluated in 2008. The assistance will go towards the implementation of the country’s sugar adaptation strategy and will be subdivided annually in 10.457 million Euros (BDS$28M; EC$37.6M) in 2007; 9.433 million Euros (BDS$25.4M; EC$34M) in 2008; 10.362 million Euros (BDS$28M; EC$37M) in 2009 and 12.034 million Euros (BDS$33M; EC$43M) in 2010. The amounts are estimates and could be revised upwards since there is scope for reallocation between countries after the rate of implementation of this European Commission assistance is evaluated in 2008. In order to proceed with the assistance each sugar protocol country has to provide the European Commission with a multi-annual Indicative Programme that seeks to implement the support strategy prepared by the country and approved by the European Commission in 2006.

The preferred delivery mode of the financial assistance will be budget support aimed at the key economic diversification focal areas identified by the sugar protocol country. This is the case in particular for St. Kitts and Nevis, and Barbados. This support is aimed at addressing economic, fiscal and structural issues and maps out economic diversification programmes and activities relating to non-sugar agricultural diversification, social protection, poverty reduction, investment in new enterprises and overall protection.

St. Kitts and Nevis has identified institutional strengthening within the ministries of Sustainable and Social Development, social protection and community empowerment and skills development – prioritising business skills and the promotion of entrepreneurship in its Multi-annual Indicative Programme, as areas requiring priority assistance.

Overall six CARICOM countries were allocated 325.46 million Euros (BDS$878.74M; EC$1.17 billion) by the European Commission for the period 2007-2010 as part of the Commission’s development assistance support. Apart from St. Kitts and Nevis the five other CARICOM states, part of the 18 ACP sugar protocol countries, which received assistance were Guyana 84.170 million Euros (BDS$227M; EC$303M), Jamaica 77.547 million Euros (BDS$209M; EC$279M), Belize 45.147 million Euros (BDS$121M; EC$162.5M), Trinidad and Tobago 41.643 million Euros (BDS$112M; EC$150M) and Barbados 34.667 million Euros (BDS$93.42M; EC$124M).

The development assistance for the period 2007-2010 follows the initial assistance of 40 million Euro for 2006 as part of the accompanying measures for the 18 African, Caribbean and Pacific Sugar Protocol countries, of which St. Kitts was allocated 2.845 million Euros (BDS$7.1M; EC$9.95M). Of this initial sum 1.5 million Euros (BDS$3.75M; EC$5.25M) went towards institutional strengthening, training and community development, with the remaining 1.35 million Euros (BDS$3.38M; EC$4.73M) earmarked for social protection programmes and skills development.

Given the widespread socio-economic impact of the closure of the sugar industry in 2005 St. Kitts and Nevis’ overall sugar adaptation strategy is an economy wide transformation programme focussing on accelerating growth and improving competitiveness, while protecting the vulnerable and ensuring environmental integrity and sustainability.