Thursday 4 April 2013, Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development, and Neroni Tuiloma Slade, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretary and Regional Authorising Officer for the European Development Fund, signed two financing agreements for a total value of €11.6 million. The support to the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre (PFTAC) is a further €3.6 million EU contribution to a multi-donors initiative aiming at strengthening the Public Financial Management and macro-economics capacities of the Pacific nations. The PACWASTE programme (€8 million) will help improve the management of domestic, commercial and industrial wastes and in particular of electronic and medical wastes as well as asbestos.
‘I am particularly pleased today to sign two important financing agreements addressing two main challenges for the region, namely the economic and public finance reforms and the management of waste’, said Commissioner Piebalgs. ‘This regional aid package is another remarkable example of the good partnership between the EU and the Pacific ACP countries in particular when these countries decide to join forces to carry out the necessary in-country systems reforms, by seeking common strategies, exchanging best practices and cost effective solutions’.
The first project will be channelled through the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance (PFTAC) which delivers regional assistance to PACP national administrations to facilitate sound budgetary policies and increase domestic revenues while maintaining expenditures to sustainable levels. The programme will contribute to a better accountability and transparency across the PACP, helping them increase their resilience to shocks and accelerate progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
The second one will be entrusted to SPREP (Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme) who is implementing the regional strategy to improve the waste management systems in the Pacific. Poor waste management has a negative impact on the region’s environment as well as on public health and key economic sectors such as fisheries, agriculture and tourism. The EU support will focus on three hazardous waste streams: asbestos, electronic waste and medical waste.
These two projects contribute to the objectives of the 10th EDF Regional Indicative Programme (RIP) for the Pacific Region namely: the strengthening of economic integration and of the sustainable management of natural resources and the environment. The 10th EDF RIP has a total envelope of €114 million.
The signature of the two financing agreements takes place in the margin of the 11th EDF consultation meeting between European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs and representatives of the Pacific ACP countries, meeting in Apia, Samoa, on 4 and 5 April 2013.