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EDITO
Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Another anniversary of the signing of the CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) has come and gone, and without much fanfare as to how much progress is being made in implementing this agreement. The EPA was signed right here in Barbados on October 15, 2008, by representatives of Caribbean member states (with the exception of Guyana and Haiti which signed at later dates) and the European Union. It offers opportunities for trade in both goods and services, and financial inflows to a region which must come to grips with the reality that the world has changed and the old ways of doing business have gone.

On 23 and 24 October, Stefano Manservisi, Director General for Development of the European Union led a high level mission to Haiti to see the extent of damage and loss suffered by the population following the passage of Hurricane Matthew; Mission to which participated among others : Jolita Butkeviciene, Director for the Americas and the Caribbean to the Directorate for the development of the EU and Cees Wittebrood, Head of Unit Asia, Latin America, Caribbean and Pacific to the department of humanitarian aid and civil protection of the European Union (ECHO).

The European Union (EU), this week, pledged over €70 million in funding to the Latin American and Caribbean regions to support sustainable development. The EU made the pledge during the its two-day ministerial meeting with the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) held in Santo Domingo from October 25-26. At the meeting the EU said that it would be rolling out sustainable development programs totaling some €74 million. The EU said that its aim is to improve the living conditions of people within the CELAC states by 2030, in accordance with the “Transforming Our World: the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development”, agreed to by the United Nations in 2015.

The Italian government, through the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, is to provide €500,000 for a new project to be implemented by Children's Rights & Emergency Relief Organization Unicef-implemented in Sudan's Red Sea state. A joint press statement by Unicef and the Italian government says that the 12-month project is to be implemented in five localities in the Eastern State with an aim to prevent and control malnutrition in the region, specifically targeting children under 5, pregnant and lactating women. "While funded by Italy, Unicef is to provide technical guidance and support to the Ministry of Health in the State of Red Sea, its main implementing partner in the region.

In response to the devastating earthquake that hit Kagera Region in North West Tanzania on 10 September 2016, the European Union is providing €100 000 in humanitarian funds to assist the most affected families. According to a statement issued by the EU in Tanzania, the funds will support the Tanzanian Red Cross in delivering much needed relief assistance, including tarpaulins for shelter, mosquito nets to reduce the risks of mosquito bites to the affected population, first aid kits as well as psychosocial assistance. The aid will also directly benefit about 5,000 people who had their homes destroyed by the earthquake.