– EU Ambassador
There will be no additional aid for African, Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) countries despite calls for additional resources by these nations.
This is according to EU Ambassador to Guyana, Geert Heikens, who told the local media yesterday that whilst additional aid is not possible, the commission is examining mechanisms to ensure countries enjoy quicker disbursement of funds.
Heikens assured that funds from the European Development Fund are secure, and countries who are beneficiaries of this should not be concerned about the impact of the world financial crisis.
“We have our envelopes that are already secured…I don’t think that we can go to the member states and ask for more money.”
At present, he said, measures are being tabled to the commission in assisting countries most affected by the current financial crisis but this, he added, will not lead to more money for any country.
On Monday last, Chairman of the 11th ACP ministerial conference on sugar and Minister of Agro-Industry, Food Production and Security of Mauritius, Satya Veyash Faugoo, called for the EU to show greater flexibility while requesting that the European Parliament provide more resources to these countries because of the impact of the world financial crisis.
Faugoo made the call during the opening of the ACP ministerial meeting at the International Conference Centre at Liliendaal.
The conference will conclude today.
Hosted under the theme, ‘Adapting to Sugar Arrangements under EPAs’ the four-day conference began on Monday with Faugoo requesting that additional resources beyond the current financial framework be provided to ACP nations.
He told the gathering at the opening ceremony that the challenge for ACP countries is for them to fully utilize the valuable resources to which they are all committed.
This, he said, will strengthen the countries’ case for additional financial support.
Key stakeholders of the industry from European and other regional private sector bodies and groups in the ACP attended the conference.
The agreement with the EU has allowed ACP nations to export sugar to Europe on preferential terms for over 30 years.
The terms and conditions for a new sugar arrangement are currently being discussed with the European Commission at all ACP levels.
This is the third time Guyana is hosting the ACP ministerial meeting with the first being in 1975 when the body was established.
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