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$13.59M Euro for Windward Islands agriculture

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The European Commission has allocated 13.59 million Euros (BDS$32.61M; EC$44.30M) under the 2006 Special Framework of Assistance (SFA) for the four Windward Island banana producing countries. The financing agreements relating to these proposed allocations will now have to be drawn up and presented to the European Development Fund Committee later this year for approval.

Under SFA 2006 St. Lucia has been allocated 5.41M Euro (BDS$12.98M; EC$17.64M), St. Vincent and the Grenadines 3.85M (BDS$9.24M; EC$12.55M), Dominica 3.83M (BDS$9.2M; EC$12.49M) while Grenada’s sum will be 500,000 Euro (BDS$1.2M; EC$1.63M).{{more}}

The total amount of funds approved for the Windward Islands by the European Commission under the SFA instrument since its establishment in 1999 is 134.62M Euro (BDS$323.09M; EC$438.86M) with St. Lucia receiving 57.335M Euro (BDS$114.63M; EC$187M), Dominica 37.3M (BDS$89.52M; EC$121.60M), St. Vincent and the Grenadines 35.98M (BDS$86.35M; EC$117.30M) and Grenada four million Euro (BDS$9.6M; EC$13.04M).

In the past the Special Framework of Assistance has provided funds that were used in agricultural competitiveness, diversification away from agriculture, social protection as well as institutional building. In St. Lucia, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines SFA assistance is being used to finance Poverty Reduction Funds.

Consultants are already at work in some of the beneficiary countries to define strategies for the three remaining years earmarked for SFA assistance 2006/2007/2008.

The SFA facility was established for traditional ACP suppliers of bananas, having regard to the commitments made by the European Union to these ACP states, following amendment of the Lome trade arrangements which substantially altered the market conditions for traditional ACP banana suppliers. The SFA facility will continue until 2008, at which time an estimated 180 million euro (EBDS$432M; EC$586.8M) would have been allocated from this instrument for the four Windward Islands.

This source of funding places these countries in the situation of being among the highest beneficiaries of EU aid on a per capita basis.

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