The European Union will soon be providing $104 million (‚40 million) in new financial grant assistance to Barbados for human resource development as well as renewable energy initiatives.
The country’s human resource development programme is to benefit from a further injection of $89 million by the end of 2013, whilst $15 million has been set aside for renewable energy.
Once operational, the new amounts will bring Barbados’ current active portfolio with the EU to $143 million.
The disclosure of the additional EU financial assistance was made during a high level portfolio dialogue between officials of the Government of Barbados and the Delegation of the European Union to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean on December 5, 2012. This meeting was co-chaired by Minister of Finance Christopher Sinckler and new EU Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Mikael Barfod.
The purpose of the exercise was to review the various ongoing and recently concluded programmes financed by the EU in Barbados and provided an avenue to discuss the challenges and opportunities arising from the joint management of the portfolio.
A significant amount of EU grant aid provided to Barbados represents support to countries affected by the reform of the EU sugar regime in 2006 which led to a 36 per cent reduction in the price of sugar.
Past EU support to Barbados includes the expansion to the Barbados Language Centre at the Barbados Community College; support to the Barbados health programme, the technology sector, and the international business sector, as well as the provision of equipment for the Forensic Sciences Laboratory.