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EU budget support for Fiji

Manasa Kalouniviti
Thursday, November 17, 2016

THE budget support discussed on Monday with the Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is part of the European Union's bilateral allocation of development assistance for Fiji for the period up to 2020, says Andrew Jacobs.

"The total allocation is for 28 million euro ($F62.6m) and 20m euro ($F44.7m) of this is earmarked for budget support linked to the sugar and agriculture sectors. Most of the rest of the funds are being used for the ongoing Access to Justice programs being implemented by the UNDP," Mr Jacobs said.

The EU head of Delegation to the Pacific and Fiji made the comment after an EU delegation consisting of himself, the head of unit of Centralised Operations, Central Asia, Middle East/Gulf and Pacific, Jobst Von Kirchman, development co-ordinator for the Pacific Region Mathias Reusing and EU head of co-operation Christopher Wagner met Mr Sayed-Khaiyum on Monday.

After the meeting Government released a statement saying the EU was looking to expand direct budget support to Fiji through the Ministry of Economy to fund a range of collaborative development programmes.

In response to questions Mr Jacobs said the agreement for this allocation was signed by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama last year.

He said in a budget support program funds were paid direct to the beneficiary government, which used them as it saw fit. He said no specific projects were agreed in advance.

Meanwhile, the Government media release said the meeting included discussions on co-operative strategies for developing Fiji's agriculture sector — particularly how the direct budget support from the EU would assist sugarcane and other farmers.

"By expanding development assistance through our Ministry of Economy, the European Union has demonstrated confidence in Government's financial management and ability to drive effective and targeted development across a wide-range of sectors," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

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