European Union releases $12.3 million to Fiji through budget support

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The European Union reaffirms its commitment to help the Fijian Government fight its second wave of COVID-19 by providing a further EUR 5 million (FJD$12.3 million) to support sustainable rural livelihoods.

The funds are targeted at the implementation of the agriculture sector strategy of the Government of Fiji. At a time when the fiscal environment is extremely constrained, they take the form of a financial grant, directly transferred to the Fijian Government. They are accompanied by the provision of technical assistance.

The European Union Ambassador to Fiji, Sujiro Seam highlights that “the budget support of FJD$12.3 million demonstrates European Union’s commitment to stand with the Government of Fiji as it battles its second wave of COVID-19. It provides a welcome financial relief in a difficult fiscal environment. It is aligned with the national strategy to enhance the rural livelihood, generate income and employment opportunities, support diversification and competitiveness, contribute to food and nutrition security and improve services and infrastructure. Consistent with the European Green Deal, it promotes climate smart and environmentally friendly agriculture.”

Fiji’s Attorney General and Economy Minister, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum welcomed the timely budget support from the European Union.

“Our budget for this financial year has funded sweeping socioeconomic protections for the Fijian people amidst the ongoing global pandemic–– including targeted support to the agricultural sector to strengthen Fiji’s food and nutrition security. With the Fijian Government’s support, our farmers are increasingly meeting more domestic demand for produce and building the Fijian brand of quality in overseas markets, creating sustainable livelihoods and sources of income in this growing sector. We look forward to putting the EU’s direct budget support to work through our effective and efficient support systems.”

The budget support to sustainable rural livelihood in Fiji is worth a total of EUR 20 million or approximately FJD$50 million (US$25 million) and covers a 3-year period from 2020 to 2022. The disbursement of the second annual tranche of EUR 5 million follows the first payment of EUR 8 million(US$9.4 million) last year.

This Budget Support contributes to the implementation of the Strategic Development Plan of the Ministry of Agriculture and the transfer of funds is concurrent with the results achieved in its implementation.

SOURCE:EU PACIFIC/FIJI GOVT/PACNEWS