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Thursday, 27 January 2011

EU opens technical support office in Belize

The Delegation of the European Union which has responsibility for Jamaica, Belize, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Cayman Islands has opened a Technical Support Office in Belize.  The office was inaugurated on December 20, 2010 by His Excellency Marco Mazzocchi Alemanni Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union. The EU Office’s main objective is to foster the mutual relations between the EU and Belize as well as to ease the implementation of ongoing development cooperation programs. The cooperation programs between the EU and Belize have in fact increased in volume in recent times, bringing a combined allocation for the period 2010-2013 of €85 million (BZ $219 million), making Belize one of the highest per-capita recipients among ACP countries. In 2009 alone the EC disbursed €7 million (BZ$18 million) in grant project funds. The main goal of EC assistance in Belize is to support the national poverty reduction strategy of the Government and this is the reason why all on-going programs have an important bearing on poverty reduction and rural development. Such is the case for the Belize Rural Development Program (BRDP), the Banana Support Program (BSP) and the Accompanying Measures for Sugar (AMS).  Concrete and tangible results are already visible throughout the country, especially in terms of new livelihood and employment opportunities for the rural poor as well as the rehabilitation of strategic infrastructure funded either by the BRDP (nation-wide), the banana support program (south) or by the sugar program (north). Another important area of cooperation which will commence shortly is the Climate Change Adaptation program. In this area €3 million (BZ$7.7 million) has been earmarked for a bilateral project to be implemented by the UNDP and the Ministry of National Resources and Environment. An additional €8 million (BZ$20.6 million) has been earmarked for a regional program to be implemented by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre based in Belmopan.

Source: European External Action Service