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Thursday, July 20, 2006 

EDF makes progress in support initiatives

Thursday July 20 2006

Antigua & Barbuda and the Delegation of the European Commission to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean have just concluded another round of discussions to finalize the 10th EDF programming relating to the Draft Country Strategy and National Indicative Programmes for the period 2008-2013.

Making the disclosure Ambassador Dr. Clarence Henry, who is also the National Authorising Officer for the EDF programme, explained that the meeting was crucial in light of the deadline of mid-July set by the European Union headquarters in Brussels for the submission of country strategy documents.

A similar meeting was convened by the delegation in St. Kitts in June to discuss the compilation of response strategies for member states of the OECS attracting national authorising officers and senior officials from the proposed focal sector.

According to Ambassador Henry, it was important to reach final agreement on the contents of the CSP particularly on the response strategy, the NIP and the intervention framework.

The proposed single focal sector for the new round of EU support to Antigua and Barbuda is “Fiscal and Public Sector Modernization” to support the continued Government efforts to implement relevant fiscal and public sector reforms.

In this regard, ninety percent of the EURO 3.12 million under the 10th EDF will go towards that focal sector. The EURO 3.12 million represents a small increase in the EU’s support to Antigua and Barbuda over the 9th EDF allocation of EURO 2.6 million whose focal sector was Human Resources Development.

Among the programmes currently being implemented through EU funding include 8th EDF - Drug Demand Reduction Programme, a Strengthening of Technical and Vocational Education Project (STAVEP), a Broad Based Education Sector Study for Antigua & Barbuda, and the establishment of a Non State Actors Advisory Panel.

Preparation work is progressing for the eventual construction of a Learning Resources Centre (LRC) and six classrooms as well as expansion of the physical facilities at the Antigua and Barbuda Institute of Continuing Education (ABICE) and the engineering workshop at the Antigua State College.

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