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Mr. Manservisi, who met His Excellency the President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konusi Konrote earlier today, congratulated Fiji for the Presidency of COP23 and announced the EU will provide EUR 3 million (FJD 6.5 million) to support Fiji in effective preparations of COP23, which will be hosted in early November in Bonn, Germany. EUR 2 million (FJD 4 million) will be provided directly to the Fiji Government, while the EUR 1 (FJD 2.1) will be committed to UNFCCC, mirroring well-functioning arrangements during previous COPs.
Mr. Manservisi told Acting Prime Minister the EU is pleased to hear the preparations are well underway for the 2018 general elections. He acknowledged receipt of a funding request submitted by the Supervisor of Elections for training of polling day workers and informed the minster that the EU is examining various possibilities, adding the EU would be pleased in particular to field a mission of electoral experts similar to the one that worked in Fiji in 2014.
Mr. Manservisi said the EU sees Fiji as an important trading partner in the region. The suspension of the negotiations on a future Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) has given the EU the opportunity to focus on implementing the existing EPA. This will contribute directly to advancing the development aspirations of Fiji. Speedy ratification and implementation of the EPA by Fiji would indeed yield positive benefits for your economy and citizens alike.
The Director-General informed the Acting Prime Minister that the EU redirected and mobilised funds from ongoing programmes to support Fiji after Tropical Cyclone Winston and the EU is currently working on disbursing EUR 9.8 million (FJD 22 million) to support the rehabilitation of the sugar and agriculture sector.
Manservisi updated the Acting Prime Minister of EU's current development cooperation and upcoming support for Fiji.
''The EU funded Programme “Fiji Access to Justice” was launched by the Government of Fiji in August last year. The project, which is being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will enhance the justice system in Fiji and provide more access to justice for underprivileged and vulnerable groups. For the future, the 11th European Development Fund foresees an envelope of FJD 45 million (20 million Euro) to support the agriculture sector and the sugar subsector reform in Fiji. The preparation of the latter programme is ongoing in close cooperation with the government and should be completed in the course of 2017.'' said Manservisi.
The EU will provide more than EUR 40 million [FJD 90 million] in financial assistance to Fiji during the period 2014-2020. The EU will support good governance and sustainable rural livelihoods in general with projects on access to justice, support to reform the sugar sector and diversification of agriculture, and emergency funding to cope with extreme weather. This is in addition to almost EUR 50 million [FJD 110 million] worth of ongoing EU-funded projects.
For further information, contact Mohammed Nazeem KASIM, EU Press Officer Suva, Fiji