EU grants Mauritius Rs 1.1 billion for economic and social reforms
Besides, a total of Rs 56 million worth of grants, ranging from Rs 400,000 to Rs 4 million, have been allocated to 20 NGOs for the implementation of social projects. (Image: European Union Delegation to Mauritius news)
Keeping up its support to the island economy, the European Union (EU) has granted Mauritius €27.2 million (Rs 1.12 billion) to support its economic and social reform programme.
An official statement issued by the EU Delegation in Port Louis noted that this grant of Rs 1.1 billion is the disbursement of the first tranche of its general budget support programme titled ‘Promoting Sustainable and Equitable Development Phase II’ (PSED II).
This program, which was signed between the government and the EU, covers an overall financial package amounting to €88 million, or Rs 3.5 billion.
The disbursement of the first tranche was subject to the achievement of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) approved in 2013. The EU made it clear that “the level of achievement of conditions, and expected results and key under this program has allowed full disbursement of the grant funding scheduled for 2013.”
Mauritius has continued to show commitment to implement some hard reforms, especially in the areas of procurement, social aid, sugar reform, parastatal re-engineering and review of the education sector, which are essential for the island to graduate from a middle-income country to a high-income country, noted Guy Samzun, the Chargé d’Affaires of the EU Delegation in Mauritius.
However, he cautioned against complacency, stating that the impetus should be maintained for even bolder reforms to be made possible over the next two years.
Besides, a total of Rs 56 million worth of grants, ranging from Rs 400,000 to Rs 4 million, have been allocated to 20 NGOs for the implementation of social projects in Mauritius, Rodrigues, Agalega and St Brandon, under the European Union funded Decentralised Cooperation Programme II (DCP II).
The ‘Direct Support to Micro-Projects for Poverty Alleviation’ programme aims to undertake poverty reduction actions with the participation of the most vulnerable, thus improving the livelihood of those suffering from extreme poverty.
Started in May 2013, the programme activities will be executed until May 5, 2015, and have been divided into two lots for the implementation of 20 projects, covering 75% of the total project costs.
An amount of approximately Rs 42 million has been allocated under Lot 1 which consists of 14 projects in Mauritius while around Rs 14 million has been ear-marked under Lot 2 for 4 projects in Rodrigues and Agalega.
In order to achieve the set objectives, the programme focuses on five specific objectives namely: educating of the poor, vulnerable and marginalized; health of the poor, vulnerable and marginalized; social welfare of the poor, vulnerable and marginalized; creation of opportunities for social inclusion of the disabled and the stigmatized; as well as women’s empowerment and gender issues.