The St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ European Development Fund Programme Management and Co-ordination Unit (EDF/PMCU) was set up in 1995 under the Framework of Mutual Obligations (FMO) for the 1994 STABEX Transfers to SVG. The Unit was set up by the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (www.gov.vc) to facilitate the implementation of European Union (http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm) funded programmes and projects. Prior to 1995, SVG/EU cooperation focused on the implementation of the National Indicative Programme (NIP) and to a lesser extent the Caribbean Regional Indicative Programme (CRIP). The change in the EU banana marketing regime in the early 1990’s resulted in SVG benefitting, for the first time, from STABEX (Stabilisation of Export Earnings) resources. From the inception of the EDF/PMCU, the major focus was directed at buffering the economic shock resulting from the change of the banana marketing regime and promotes economic diversification, while at the same time improving competitiveness of the banana industry.
At present the EDF/PMCU is managing the implementation of various projects and programmes with grant funds derived from the 9th & 10th NIP, the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM), the Special Framework of Assistance (SFA), the Fluctuations of Export Earnings (FLEX) and an umbrella Framework of Mutual Obligations through which all un-utilised balances from the STABEX have been reallocated. With these resources, the EU is easily the largest single donor to SVG. These funds are allocated across a wide spectrum of sectors including: Tourism, Agriculture, Private Sector, Education, Transport, Health and the Rural Sector. This focus thus provides a diverse and many-sided composition of the EU/SVG partnership.
To better manage the EU resources, the EDF/PMCU has a technical staff with the required experience and competencies for the programming and implementation of EU grants. This allows the EDF/PMCU to serve as a hub where line ministries and agencies benefitting from EU grants can find the needed guidance and assistance to implement their related projects and programmes. The unit falls directly under the authority of the National Authorising Officer (NAO) for EDF Operations. The NAO is also the Director of Planning in the Ministry of Economic Planning, Sustainable Development, Industry, Information and Labour.