EU boosts support for sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean

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The FINANCIAL — The European Commission announced on June 11 around €230 million to support the efforts towards the sustainable development of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The new projects unveiled on June 11 will take into account the progress made in several parts of the region in recent years and will address the new challenges that have emerged, according to European Commission.

The announcement was made at the EU-CELAC (Community of Latin America and Caribbean States) Summit held in Brussels on 10 – 11 June.

High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini said: “With this newly adopted EU cooperation package, we want to further strengthen and deepen EU-Latin America relationship. Throughout these new initiatives, we will work together to enhance sustainable development and promote more inclusive prosperous societies for the next generations in both our continents”.

Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, said: “The European Union seeks to develop a new type of cooperation that takes into account the fact that Latin America and the Caribbean have experienced very positive growth over the last decade and that development challenges are of a different nature today”.

In order to adapt to this new reality, the EU has set up a Facility for International Cooperation and Partnership. The facility will support the consolidation of peer learning among countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region, and to promote joint cooperation with emerging donors in the region. It counts on a budget of €12 million to support the improvement of the design and implementation of public policies with a direct impact on poverty reduction.

Part of the new projects signed today address particular countries’ challenges:

Bolivia – with more than half a billion euro received in the last 20 years, Bolivia is the largest recipient of EU cooperation in Latin America, accompanied by a remarkable record of good results. Three new programmes have been signed: one to fight illegal drugs (€60 million), which will support the implementation of the Action Plan against drug trafficking and reduction of coca cultivation in respect for human rights and social dialogue; one to increase access to drinking water and sanitation facilities in suburban areas, while increasing resilience to the negative impacts of climate change (€12 million); and another one to improve water basin management and reduce water shortages, water pollution and the risks of flooding (€17 million). The objective is to give more than 200.000 people access to water and basic sanitation.

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Colombia – a programme worth almost €21 million will aim to overcoming the social and economic disadvantage of the marginalised and conflict affected regions. The programme will support local sustainable development in remote areas. It is expected to foster income generation opportunities for almost 2000 peasant families and improved livelihoods of around 3000 indigenous and Afro-Colombian families living in National Parks, where all kinds of social and environmental conflicts rule. This action will constitute the first building block of the EU’s support to the Colombian peace process. Over the last decade, EU’s cooperation has invested over €150 million in peace building in Colombia.

Honduras -a programme on food security (€30 million) will be signed to improve the living conditions of 15,000 rural households in one of the most vulnerable areas of the country by building sustainable farming systems that will enable increasing food production while supporting education and nutrition. Another programme (worth €11,6 million) promoting decent work conditions and employment opportunities for young people in Honduras will also be signed. A third project (with an EU grant contribution of €10 million) will focus on the rehabilitation, upgrading and road safety improvements of one of the country’s main roads, thus providing the poorest and most deprived regions in Honduras with ameliorated access to social services and increased commercial opportunities.

Other projects announced today have a regional scope, notably the Coffee Rust programme for Central America (€15 million). The coffee rust is a leaf disease that has affected about 50% of coffee plantations in the region and is causing considerable hardship to small producers and their families in the region. It is anticipated that the programme will contribute to improving the livelihoods of 330,000 producer families and 6,000 family farms in the selected coffee producing areas throughout Central America and Dominican Republic.

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Also with a regional angle, but targeting this time Latin America region, the EU has also anounced today new support of €32 million to the EUROsociAL+ project on social cohesion for the next four years, and €10 million to COPOLAD, to support the fight against drugs. This comes in addition to the Regional Indicative Programme (RIP) for the Caribbean.

All these programmes (€230 million) come on top of those announced yesterday in the context of the EU-CELAC Business Summit on investment and business support (€118 million) and, together with the regional envelope for the Caribbean (€346 million) announced also today, bringing the overall package of the European Union to almost €700 million in support of Latin America and the Caribbean.

In addition, the EU has signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on International Cooperation with Chile and Uruguay. The main objective of this is to promote and strengthen relations in the field of international cooperation with both countries and to work hand-in-hand on poverty alleviation.


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