BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The European Union is providing Euro 5.13 million (One Euro = US$1.35 cents) to Montserrat as part of a financial package to the Overseas British territory.
European Union Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Mikael Barfod said the overall package of Euro 15.66 million is to help boost Montserrat’s economic growth and development.
The EU support will primarily assist with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Plan of Montserrat as part of the country's economic recovery.
In addition it will assist with the country's sustainable growth with a specific focus on public finance management, public sector reform and prudent economic management.
An EU statement said that expected results include the improvement of property tax administration through the provision of online services; strengthening of public finance management through the reduction of tax arrears; increased access to housing through construction of new homes; improved public infrastructure through reform of the energy regulatory framework and new Port and Airport Authorities merger legislation; and promotion of private sector activity through a stronger alignment of the education sector to labour market needs.
Barford recently paid a first visit to Montserrat and met with Premier Reuben Meade as well as Governor Adrian Davis.
“He discussed aspects of the Public Finance Management reforms, the macroeconomic stability outlook and implementation of the Sustainable Development Plan with officials from the Ministry of Finance and visited the Lookout Housing Project and the Little Bay Port, both of which are co-financed by the European Union,” the statement said.
The EU has a long-standing history of cooperation with Montserrat. It has been providing support to the volcano ravaged island under various conventions since 1976.
It said that total development cooperation under the fourth and eighth European Development Fund (EDF) has been valued at Euro 32 million.
The EU said that under the ninth and 10th EDF, Montserrat is to receive another Euro 32 million of financial assistance in the form of budget support.