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Friday, 07 December 2012

Caribbean Nations: dissatisfied with draft EU aid rules

Caribbean governments expressed their dissatisfaction with the European Union rules currently under European Parliament debate regarding aid granted to the region and to former colonies in the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).
Under the new rules draft, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and its 15 member nations and the Dominican Republic could be “graduated or differentiated” from funds under the European Development Fund (EDF) because the Europeans might not look only at gross domestic and gross national product figures to determine which countries should get help. Thus, most of the region – with Haiti perhaps being the only exception – might no longer be regarded as countries that need help because their GDP and GNP figures will categorize them as middle- and upper-middle-income countries, making them ineligible to qualify for grant aid and cheap loans.
CARICOM nations say the old criteria, which included other factors like national vulnerabilities to hurricanes, floods and earthquakes, will no longer be applied, and that considering only economic statistics and constructs is a backward step.
CARICOM plans to raise the issue at a mid-December summit of ACP leaders in Equatorial Guinea, where all aspects of relations with the EU will come up.