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EDF Officers Attend ACP Meeting in Brussels

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Contact: Claudia Monlouis

Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - Wilfred Pierre, National Authorising Officer for EU Operations and Vincent Peters, Project Coordinator in the European Development Fund’s (EDF) Programme Monitoring Coordinating Unit, will represent St. Lucia in Brussels where the Seventh Meeting of National Authorising Officers for all 77 ACP countries will take place from May 8 – 13, 2003.

Pierre anticipates that after this meeting, the EDF will be able to strengthen its capacity to access EU funds. He explained “At this meeting a number of issues are going to be discussed. One being accessing the European Investment Bank Facility. There’s 2.2 billion Euros that’s allocated under this facility, which is a loan facility to assist the private sector; so we’re going to be in Brussels to find out what the conditionalites are and how to access these facilities.”

While in Brussels the two officers will seek to sensitize their counterparts on the Low Income Housing Facility and the Rural Credit Facility that is now in its pilot phase here. According to Pierre, the European Union wants to replicate these programmes in other ACP states especially in the African countries.

Another subject on the agenda will be capacity building for the Office of National Authorising Officers because of the increase role they play under the Cotonou Agreement.

“At the meeting the emphasis will be on the ability of countries to draw down on their resources and how fast they can do that, and in St Lucia’s case we have been very efficient in the accessing of the SFE resources. As we have indicated we have been able to get the biggest amount from all of the ACP banana producing countries,” said Pierre.

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