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Harnessing Standby Facility for EPA Implementation

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Friday, 19 April 2013

Harnessing Standby Facility for EPA Implementation

Members of the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) should make full use of the standby Facility, made available for capacity building under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU), Clairvair Squires, Chief of the Technical Cooperation Division within the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) said.
Squires made this statement on the occasion of the CDB-organized Technical Briefing Meeting on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Standby Facility for Capacity Building, which took place in Barbados on 11 April 2013.
The Standby Facility is a €3.5m fund administered by the CDB, with support from National Authoring Officers in respective States. It is managed by a Steering Committee, comprising representatives of the European Commission and the CARICOM Secretariat
It started December 2012 and it will last three years until December 2015. The facility is funded by the EU, as part of the previous 10th European Development Fund (EDF). It is be used by the beneficiary countries for national EPA implementation units; for administrative, technical and other support for national focal points and for technical assistance assignments to advise on or to assist in taking advantage of opportunities under EPA.  
The expectation is that plans will be made to better position States to tap designated resources.  The Plans draw on the high level Draft EPA Regional Implementation Road Map, a document that identifies the broad actions to be taken in respect of implementation at the national and regional levels.
The fifteen signatory Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific (CARIFORUM) States to the EPA are the independent CARICOM Member States and the Dominican Republic.
The EPA was signed in 2008. Some states (11 from the CARIFORUM) still have to ratify it (four have already done so).