Fiji Expects Almost $35 Million In EU Assistance

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Allocation of development assistance being finalized

By Felix Chaudhary

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Nov. 26, 2014) – Fiji can expect about $67.7million [US$34.6 million] in development assistance from the European Union, says EU's ambassador to the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs.

"Following the successful election process, the EU is working with the Fijian authorities to plan how best to focus future development assistance in the framework of the 11th European Development Fund, which runs till 2020," he said.

"Discussions are still ongoing, but so far two likely areas of support are governance and agriculture/sugar.

"The breakdown of the available funds (indicatively 28million Euro) has not yet been decided."

The EU had allocated about $112m in assistance to the sugar in industry in 2006.

Mr Jacobs said this assistance had to be redirected after the military takeover in December that year.

"Although some 52m Euro were lost at the time, the European Union, considering the dire situation the sugar farmers were facing, agreed in 2010 to restart a support program for the sugar sector.

"Given the restrictions in the way that the EU could administer development assistance to Fiji, the implementation of the program was entrusted to NGOs and international organisations.

"In this context some 60m Euro were allocated to Fiji (from 2010 to 2014) and this amount will be fully committed by the end of this year."

[PIR editor’s note: Fiji Times reported that Fiji ‘Sugar industry stakeholders in the Western Division are looking forward to the $17million promised by the European Union to help in the improvement to cane access roads and cane transportation for next season.’]

The EU's accompanying measures for sugar protocol program were facilitated through organisations such as the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprise and Development (FRIEND), Australia Pacific Technical College (APTC) and Secretariat for the Pacific Community (SPC) among others.

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