Barbados has received $109.2 million (50 million Euros) in aid from the European Union, mostly for human resource development.
The Government, in collaboration with the EU Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, last night hosted an awards ceremony for the ten public and private agencies, along with non-governmental organisations, with the most outstanding performance under the programme – the Human Resource Development Strategy (HRDS).
The ten top performers were selected from more than 100 involved in the HRDS that is aimed at improving employability and overall productivity of Barbadians.
“I am happy to report that as a result of much hard work by my Ministry, the several indicators which were agreed to under the strategy were met,” Minister of Labour and Human Resources Development, Esther Byer-Suckoo told the ceremony at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
“The Government of Barbados has received 100 per cent of the grant funding provided for this programme by the European Union.”
She explained that the main objective of the HRDS is to support the government of Barbados in its efforts to increase competitiveness, promote sustainable growth, and alleviate poverty.
Head of Cooperation in the EU Delegation, Marc Thill, said, “I must commend the Government, as [in] my very long experience with project reports in many different countries I very seldom come across a programme where the governments scored 100 per cent”.
He explained that since 2011 the EU has been dispersing the money through direct financial transfers to Barbados’ national treasury, conditional on performance assessment.
The EU official said that in the assessment, “we look at macro-economic stability and progress in public financial reforms in the sector supported”.
Thill said that the EU practice is to leave the recipient country to use “its own procedures to achieve results mutually agreed upon”.
The ten agencies awarded last night were Caribbean Science Foundation; TVET Council; HERO Mom-preneurship Programme; Pinelands Creative Workshop; Youth Agri-preneurship Incubator Programme; Barbados Renewable Energy Association; Small Business Association; Ministry of the Civil Service; Barbados Association of Guidance Councilors; and the public sector’s Personnel Administration Division and Training Administration Division.