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Thursday, 06 January 2011

Antigua & Barbuda gets millions in EU assistance

Antigua & Barbuda is to receive funds to deal with the effects of the world economic crisis. The European Union has disbursed a 9 million euros grant (EC $33.6M; BBD $25M) which was approved last month under the EU’s vulnerability assistance scheme to help African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. “This grant is proof that the EU is delivering on its promises and is supporting its partners in times of need,” said Minister of Finance Lovell during the 2011 Budget Statement. Antigua & Barbuda is the third Eastern Caribbean country to benefit from financial assistance under the mechanism – the other two being Grenada and Dominica. Antigua & Barbuda is the third Eastern Caribbean country to benefit from financial assistance under the mechanism – the other two being Grenada and Dominica.The vulnerability assistance package will enable the government to reduce its fiscal financing gap by 52 per cent in 2010, in order to maintain priority expenditures, especially social spending. The objective of the budget support is to contribute to macroeconomic stability and to support the implementation of the homegrown National Economic and Social Transformation (NEST) strategy and government’s macroeconomic policies. Approval of the vulnerability assistance package to Antigua & Barbuda is in addition to other EU assistance such as the Public Finance Management Reform Programme (EUR 3.0 million) and Support to Non-State Actors under the 10th European Development Fund.