Aruba and the EU

Cook Islands and the EU

17/05/2016 - 17:50
EU relations with Country

The Cook Islands comprises 15 small islands. It has a close relationship ('free association') with New Zealand, which includes citizenship for Cook Islanders. Population centres – mainly the island of Rarotonga – about 13,000 people. Industries – tourism, far ahead of offshore banking, pearls, marine and fruit exports.

Past assistance

The EU provided assistance worth almost €12 million between 2008 and 2013 under the European Development Fund (EDF), most of it for water and sanitation, to promote public health, economic growth and environmental protection:

  • upgrading septic tanks in water treatment facilities to international standards, primarily around the Muri lagoon, benefiting up to 10,000 people.
  • technical assistance and capacity building for the office of the National Authorising Officer and civil society.
  •  technical assistance for the Ministry of Marine Resources with and interdisciplinary assessment (biodiversity, Water Quality, Hydrology & rehabilitation) of the Muri lagoon to address impacts of public sanitation and a feasibility study for a centralised laboratory

Other projects funded

  • €4.6 million from the EU's Sustainable Energy for All initiative to support renewable energy projects in the outer islands.
  • Aid to construct a cyclone shelter on Pukapuka, following Cyclone Percy which damaged three-quarters of the houses there in 2005.

Future assistance

EU funding under the EDF in 2014-20 – €1.4 million – will focus entirely on water supply and sanitation.

Cooperation with other donors

Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility (PRIF) – specific infrastructure issues related to the water and sanitation sector.

EU/NZ Energy Access Partnership – energy-related projects

Asian Development Bank – energy related projects.

Regional funding

The Cook Islands will also benefit considerably from regional activities under the forthcoming EDF Regional Indicative Programme for the Pacific.

Funding for 2014-20 under the EDF


Indicative funding

As a % of the total

Water & sanitation






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