Saturday, May 9, 2009

Dominica government lauds EU assistance

By Sean Douglas

At a ceremony to mark Europe Day in Dominica on Thursday, Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit acknowledged the contribution the European Union has made to Dominica over the years.
ec delegation
Head of the EU delegation Valeriano Diaz confers with local EU representative Eddie Lambert and Financial Secretary Rosamund Edwards
Head of Delegation of the European Commission to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, His Excellency, Valeriano Diaz also listed the many projects that are currently being financed by the European Union in Dominica.

In his address at a ceremony, Prime Minister Skerrit stated: “For us in Dominica, the European Union through its Executive arm, the European Commission, has been a most generous development partner. EU development assistance currently valued at over $300 million has touched every sector in Dominica including the private sector and the NGO community.”

The Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to the European Union for their assistance to Dominica.

“It is therefore my pleasure, through you, to convey to the officials of the European Commission and the members of the European Parliament, the gratitude of all Dominicans for many years of valued development cooperation dating way back to Lome 1,” Hon. Skerrit concluded.

Meanwhile, Head of Delegation of the European Commission to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, His Excellency, Valeriano Diaz highlighted the extent of cooperation between the Commonwealth of Dominica and the European Union.

• Through the Special Framework of Assistance(SFA), which started in 1999, 52.5 million euros or approximately EC$180 million was allocated to Dominica for the banana industry; agricultural diversification; private sector development; Information and Communication Technology; Water Supply and Sewerage as well as social and transport activities;

• Upgrading of Tourism sites in Wotten Waven, Portsmouth and Bellevue Chopin;

• Continued implementation of the Waitikubuli National Trail Project;

• Successful implementation of the Melville Hall Airport expansion programme;

• A road transport policy has been developed. Policy will improve road maintenance and road rehabilitation;

• Test drilling activities will help to assess the full potential of geothermal production in Dominica;
• Dominica Social Investment Fund is having a significant impact on the lives
of vulnerable communities, underprivileged youth, the elderly and the Carib people;

• Two budget support programmes, one focussing on private sector development and one focusing on land reform for a total of 19 million euros in the form of grants are currently being implemented;

• General macro-economic budgetary support totalling 4.5 million euros under the 10th EDF is under preparation;

• Major rehabilitation of farm access roads;

• Three Inland Distribution centres in Roseau, Portsmouth and Marigot;

• 3.6 million euros ($12.6 million EC) for the third phase of the Water Supply and Sewerage programme along the west-coast of Dominica.

“All of these achievements highlight the excellent level of cooperation between Dominica and the EU with emphasis on genuine development for the benefit of the people of Dominica,” Ambassador Diaz concluded.

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