The European Union continues to support to Government of Montserrat through the release of the third Payment of EC$15.8 million (EUR 4.90M) under the country’s Multi Sector Sustainable Economic Development Budget Support Programme. Inclusive in this payment is EC$3 million (EUR 900,000) immediate support to the Government of Montserrat in dealing with the impact of the Covid-19 global pandemic.
This disbursement results from the government successfully accomplishing specific performance indicators under the programme such as the retrofitting of more than 50% of the streetlights on the island with LED fittings, along with the implementation of key activities highlighted in the Tourism Strategic Plan which was adopted in 2019. These initiatives will continue to help Montserrat achieve concrete gains in the overall development through the utilisation of resilient and cost effective energy use across the island, along with increased revenue through tourism and an overall improvement of the business environment in Montserrat.
The overall objective of the Budget Support Programme is to assist in setting Montserrat on a path of sustainable economic development, based on its 2017-2021 Medium Term Economic Policy. This Policy is part of an Economic Growth Strategy which seeks to address Montserrat’s economic development challenges for the next 10 or more years.
The Government of Montserrat will also direct some of the EU’s assistance to support other key areas identified in the Medium Term Economic Programme such as renewable energy and infrastructure development such as new port development. Moreover, the assistance is expected to further enhance Montserrat’s tourism industry, while also taking steps to improve the business environment and encourage more inclusive private-sector development.
The EU has provided development aid to Montserrat since 2009. The overall programme budget for the current 11th European Development Fund (EDF) is approximately EC$60 million (EUR 18.72M) until 2022, with EC$57 million (EUR 17.72M) earmarked for multi sector development as budget support. Montserrat also benefits from EU assistance channelled through the EDF Caribbean regional envelope for Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).