European Union Commits $32 Million To Help Fiji Recover From Cyclone

Agriculture, sugar sectors to get funds for rehabilitation

By Felix Chaudhary

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Feb. 3, 2017) – The EU has made a commitment to give the agriculture and sugar sectors 30 million euro ($F$68m) [US$32.3 million], to assist in post Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston rehabilitation.

The EU said immediately after Severe TC Winston, it committed $F23m (10m euro) [US$10.8 million] to help the agriculture and sugar sectors.

"This recovery assistance will be disbursed in one instalment," the EU said in a statement yesterday.

"For the future, the 11th European Development Fu­nd (EDF) includes an envelope of $F45m (20 million euro) to support the agriculture sector and sugar subsector reform in Fiji.

"This allocation will be disbursed in stages. The preparation of this program is ongoing in close co-operation with the Government and should be completed in the course of 2017."

The EU added post-Winston recovery assistance of $F23m was specifically designed to assist the rehabilitation of farms affected by Severe TC Winston.

"The future program will aim at improving the livelihood of the rural population, increasing productivity, competitiveness and making the agriculture and sugar sector more resilient."

The EU aid comes at a critical time for the Fiji sugarcane industry as the sector prepares for the end of preferential quota and market access into Europe with the abolishment of the sugar protocol from October this year.

Fiji, along with other African Caribbean Pacific sugar-producers, will compete on the open market when the EU ends an agreement where the ACP enjoyed a fixed quota at very lucrative prices — sometimes as much as three times the world sugar price — into the European market.

Speaking at a press conference in Lautoka recently, Fiji Sugar Corporation board chairman Vishnu Mohan said the country was ready for the challenges expected with the end of the economic partnership agreement.

Fiji Times Online.
Copyright © 2017 Fiji Times Online. All Rights Reserved

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