Antigua and Barbuda and other CARICOM countries are expected to benefit from 800 million under a new partnership agreement signed on Wednesday.
A joint communique issued at the end of the European Union-CARIFORUM Ministerial Meeting said that Europe would be providing the funds until 2027.
It said that the EU and Caribbean countries will work together through three partnerships under the Global Gateway, respectively focusing on “Green Deal”, “Economic Resilience and Trade” as well as “Governance, Security and Human Development”.
The chair of CARIFORUM, E.P Chet Greene chaired the high-level meeting currently underway in Barbados.
As part of these partnerships, the ministers also agreed on concrete actions to fight climate change, protect biodiversity, and foster digital innovation and mobility of students and university staff.
The leaders also reiterated their readiness to step up collaboration to push for a green, inclusive and digital transition including at the global level where both partners together can exercise leadership in multilateral fora.
The communique said that the ministers also agreed on the importance to engage with youth and strengthening the mobility between both regions.
According to reports, the three partnerships launched Wednesday to roll out the EU’s Global Gateway strategy in the Caribbean
“As Russia’s aggression on Ukraine and the COVID-pandemic have made these challenges even more acute, we want to help our partners in addressing them and tackle inequalities. I am pleased to reaffirm our strong partnership with the Caribbean with a solid contribution of over €800 million until 2027,” said European Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen said
Urpilainen said “the Caribbean leaders welcomed the extension of the EU Flagship program on Climate Change in Latin America, EUROCLIMA, to the Caribbean. The program will support Caribbean partners with Euro 35 million to achieve their commitments under the Paris Agreement. “
She also announced several new initiatives, such as five million Euro to foster digital innovation in the Caribbean and its readiness to explore possibilities for an extension of the BELLA optic cable to the region and to support the convergence of the rules and standards in the whole Latin America and Caribbean region.
“The Commissioner also highlighted the recent additional allocation of €36,5 million to the Caribbean as part of the EU´s global efforts to mitigate the impact of the Russia war of aggression against Ukraine that will support the most vulnerable people to cope with the current food security crisis and related economic shocks.”
The communique said that the Caribbean and the EU leaders reiterated their readiness to step up collaboration to push for a green, inclusive and digital transition including at the global level where both partners together can exercise leadership in multilateral fora.
Ministers also agreed on the importance to engage with youth and strengthening the mobility between both regions.
Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley, the CARICOM & CARIFORUM Secretary-General Carla Barnett, and the Vice-President of the European Investment Bank Ricardo Mourinho were also in attendance