Roseau, Dominica – April 15, 2008……In furtherance of the general objectives of the programme of development cooperation between the European Union and the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Government of Dominica and the European Commission Delegation to the OECS and Barbados will conduct a joint review of EU development assistance to Dominica on Thursday 17 April, 2008.
This review, which is the ninth of its kind, will involve a process of consultation with project managers implementing EU-funded projects and programmes within the domains of the public sector and civil society.
The specific objectives of the CPR are to (i) assess the status of implementation of the portfolio of projects; (ii) identify key project-specific problems and systemic implementation issues affecting portfolio performance; and (iii) agree on a focused and time-bound action plan for resolving the identified bottlenecks to implementation. The event will also provide for cross sectoral exchange of project management experience and information.
The portfolio review will be preceded by an overview of recent fiscal and economic developments in Dominica. This will highlight the macroeconomic environment in which projects are being implemented and help set the context for project evaluation and future programming of EU assistance.
The European Union is a major development partner of Dominica with a current active portfolio of EC$214 million that touches every sector of Dominica’s economy and society. Among the major ongoing programmes and projects with which the EU is partnering with Dominica are the following:
v The Dominica Social Investment Fund, which is targeting EC$15.4 million to improve the livelihoods and living conditions of the elderly, children and youth at risk, women in vulnerable positions, and persons with disabilities;
v The strengthening of civil society to meaningfully contribute to national development through the provision of technical support to the Non-State Actor Panel;
v The upgrading of the Melville Hall Airport to allow for improved air access and increased business with financial support of EC $56 million. Airport development accounts for 26 per cent of the overall envelope of ongoing projects.
v Current investments of $33 million to support agricultural production and diversification through the provision of infrastructure (including access roads, irrigation, port and post harvest facilities, etc); standards for food safety and plant and animal health; training and credit for young farmers; and the development of a Management Information System to forecast demand and supply of production and to inform policy formulation. Agriculture accounts for 15 per cent of the total active portfolio.
v The $15.4 million Waitukubuli National Trail that will diversify Dominica’s tourism product and bring economic benefits to communities along the pathway of the trail;
v Investments that will accelerate the emergence of knowledge-based industries. In that regard, the ICT Development Project, which is being managed by the Ministry of Telecommunications, will provide $10 million for an Information Communication Telecommunication (ICT) infrastructure for the country with the development and implementation of sectoral ICT strategies for agriculture, manufacturing, services, education and tourism; and provision of ICT curriculum, resources and training for schools. At the level of the firm, the National ICT E-Business Incubator Project, which is being implemented by the University of Technology in Jamaica, will establish, promote and market e-business incubator services and programmes to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Funding for this project is close to $6 million; and
v Exploration of Dominica’s geo-thermal potential project, which was launched last week, with a grant of 1.5 million euros in addition to the 2.5 million euros being provided by the French, who are members of the European Union.
These projects support Dominica’s efforts at building a modern, diversified and resilient economy capable of supporting sustainable livelihoods and reducing poverty.
In addition to specific projects, EU development assistance is also channeled through budgetary support for enhancing macroeconomic management and private sector development. Direct budgetary support accounts for 18 per cent of total EU funding.
As part of the day’s event, a press conference on EU-Dominica development cooperation will be hosted by the NAO Mr. Edward Lambert and the Head of the EC Delegation Mr. Valeriano Diaz. This conference is carded for Thursday 17th April, 2008 at 10:45 at the Fort Young Hotel and will run for half an hour.