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Thursday, 04 April 2013

EU : New energy funding in the Pacific

A new EU funding which amounts to €10 million, aimed at boosting access to sustainable energy in the Pacific Islands, was announced by the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, on Thursday, 21 March 2013.
This funding comes from the EU's Energising Development Initiative, part of the UN's Sustainable Energy for All initiative, which the Commission announced last spring at a high level event with UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon. The Initiative included an initial pledge to provide €50 million until 2014, intended to support those developing partners that "opt in" to the initiative by providing EU expertise in the field.

Speaking ahead of the Pacific Energy Summit, due to take place in Auckland, New Zealand, on 24 - 25 March, the Commissioner underlined that the funding would provide access to affordable and safe energy to the poorest living in some of the most remote areas of the Pacific, helping to significantly increase trade and growth opportunities in the region.
The new support adds up to a previous commitments from the Investment Facility for the Pacific (IFP), which aims at closing funding gaps for projects by blending grants with funds from financial institutions and the private sector.
The initial allocation from the IFP was €10 million, announced last year, and more funding might be provided in the future (up to €10 million more).
Between 3-4 March, Commissioner Piebalgs participated in a high level meeting bringing together EU and national authorities of the Pacific islands in Samoa, to discuss priorities of the EU-Pacific cooperation for the coming years.

Pacific countries receive targeted support on energy through the ACP-EU Energy Facility, a co-financing instrument designed to improve access to sustainable energy for the poor living in rural and peri-urban areas in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. In the ACP countries, the rate of access to electricity can be as low as 10% in rural areas. The EU has provided €420 million for the Energy Facility between 2006-2013.

Source: European Commission