Under this agreement, which is financed through the 11th European Development Fund, the EU will provide EUR 1.4 million (NZD 2.2 million) directly to the Cook Islands' budget in order to boost the implementation of the National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP) and the Sanitation Policy over the next four years.
On signing the financing agreement during a meeting with Mr. Puna within the margins of the Our Oceans Conference in Malta, Commissioner Mimica said: ''Through this programme, the Cook Islands and the EU jointly commit to protecting the outstanding natural environment of this beautiful country, while safeguarding public health and contributing to decent employment and the sustainable economic growth of the Cook Islands"
"The Cook Islands remains a steadfast partner for the EU. Our joint success at COP 21, together with our other friends in the Pacific, is a testament to what can be achieved through reciprocal cooperation. We look forward to continuing our mutually beneficial work on the international stage at COP 23 in November, and beyond" Commissioner Mimica added.
The EU is currently facilitating an interdisciplinary assessment of the Muri Lagoon; the findings of which will contribute to a more sustainably managed sanitation sector.
The budget support programme signed today will support the Cook Islands to implement Agenda 2030. It contributes primarily to the progressive achievement of SDG 6 "Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all", and promotes progress towards Goal 14 “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development".
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For further information, contact; Mohammed Nazeem KASIM, EU Press Officer, Suva, Fiji