Roseau, Dominica – October 13, 2009……… Minister for Public Utilities, Energy and Ports, Hon. Charles Savarin has said the global economic crisis is having a negative impact on Small Island Developing States like Dominica.
Hon. Savarin made the disclosure at the 10th EDF Mid-Term Review and Country Portfolio Meeting at the Fort Young Hotel recently. Mr. Savarin spoke on behalf of Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit.
“Since ours is a small, vulnerable and open economy, we have had to face the impacts of the global economic and financial crisis.”
“Two very promising hotel projects in the north east of Dominica with tremendous potential for job creation have had to be put on hold because of financing difficulties faced by the promoters; there has been a drop in remittances as Dominicans resident overseas have been forced to cut back on expenditure; available evidence to date indicate a less robust performance of the tourism sector compared to the same period last year. The Government of Dominica, as with many other governments, has had to increase social expenditure in order to reduce the negative impact on citizens.”
The Minister thanked the European Commission for helping Dominica to weather the current economic storm through the many projects and programmes being funded by the European Union here.
Mention was made of the EURO 4.4 million Social Investment Fund, under SFA2002.
“The Fund has made targeted interventions in many of our more vulnerable communities and was a source of life support to the fisherfolk of our west coast after hurricane Omar had destroyed their fishing boats and equipment,” Hon. Savarin said.
The European Union continues to be a significant development partner of Dominica. EU resources are being used to spur enterprise development, enhance the competitiveness of small and medium sized firms, diversify the eco-tourism product, explore the country’s geothermal potential , provide safety nets for poor and vulnerable communities, expand access to water supply and to upgrade road and airport infrastructure.
Currently the European Commission has an active project portfolio of EURO 75 million of which more than half has been disbursed. The 10th EDF budgetary resources will be used to implement the Dominica Government’s poverty reduction strategy, the Growth and Social Protection Strategy (GSPS).
In 2009, EURO 19.5 million has been committed and approximately EURO 13.5 million has been disbursed. The EU financed 29 percent of Government’s capital budget in fiscal year 2008/2009 and its contribution for the current 2009/2010 fiscal year is projected at 29 percent.