By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Forum of the Caribbean Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States (CARIFORUM) says it is prepared for negotiations on the European Development Fund (EDF) at the 11th session which opens on Thursday, September 19 at the Guyana International Conference Centre.
The European Development Fund (EDF) is the single largest donor of grants to the Region. Over the last two days, representatives of all Cariforum Members States, Regional Organizations and Civil Society met at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown, where consultations were held on the Region’s priorities to utilize the grant that will be given to the region by the EDF.
In fact, the stakeholders used a concept paper which was drafted by the council when it met in November 2012 and refined same. According to Cariforum’s Director General Percival Marie, among those priorities that the grant will be used to develop include Regional Integration, Crime and Security, Climate Change and Infrastructural and Economic Development.
Marie said while the body does not know the amount of the grant that it will receive, it remains eager to find out so that it can proceed with its projects.
Meanwhile, Director of Projects at the Ministry of Finance, Guyana, Tarachand Balgobin explained that programs will be assessed during the 11th EDF at the regional and national level.
He said among Guyana’s national priorities are infrastructural development and climate change. The European Union’s 10th EDF will come to an end this year after running for six years from 2008 to 2013 with a budget of €22.7 billion, representing about 30% of EU spending on development cooperation aid.
A proposal have however been made for the 11th EDF to cover a seven-year period from 2014 to 2020. This one-year extension allows the end of the 11th EDF to coincide with the expiration of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement in 2020 and the EU budget period.