By Dana Niland
The European Union has announced a new regional funding program of about $393.5 million (USD) to the Caribbean.
In a statement, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said he welcomed the announcement.
The funds are intended to finance Caribbean regional programs up until 2020, and represent a significant increase over those available in the prior financing cycle.
“The funds are earmarked for areas which we in the reason see as priorities for our development,” LaRocque said.
These areas include climate change, crime and security, and economic cooperation and integration, among other issues.
LaRocque pointed to specific initiatives within these areas, including capacity development for effective and efficient response to national disasters on regional and national levels, support for the promotion of women and children security and safety, and the advancement of measures to optimize the use of renewable energy sources.
The signing of the Caribbean Regional Indicative Program, financed by the European Development Fund, took place at the Caribbean Forum of Africa Caribbean Pacific States EU High Level Meeting in Brussels, Belgium on June 11.