EU development assistance to El Salvador has so far had many benefits for its people, for instance, by providing access to basic pension for the elderly or access to water and sanitation. Building on these results, Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs will confirm, during an official visit to the country, the EU's commitment to help the country develop by providing new funding between 2014-2020. The new support will focus on the areas of social services for young people, private sector development and climate change and vulnerability with the objective of improving the livelihoods of those who need it most.
Out of the overall allocation for bilateral projects with El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and previously announced (€775 million), €149 million are expected to be for El Salvador, subject to the final approval by the Council and the European Parliament, €120 million in support to regional projects in Central America between 2014-2020 was also announced.
Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said: “I am pleased to see that good results are already being achieved through our work in El Salvador, especially in the fight against poverty and improving services for the most disadvantaged sectors of society. I look forward to discussing the future of our cooperation during my visit here, and am confident that we can continue to work together to help make even more of a difference with our support going forward.”
The programme Comunidades Solidarias (PACSES) to which the EU has provided €47 million, was set up by the Government to increase the provision of public services to the poorest and more vulnerable people. The programme is expected to reach over 13% of the total population (around 750,000 people), being women, children, young people at risk and the elderly the priority groups.
Some results achieved so far include:
- 30% of people older than 70 are now covered by basic pension;
- 226,000 families are receiving preventive medical care;
- seven offices have been set up for the prevention of violence against women;
- 70% of population in the municipalities are covered with access to drinking water and basic sanitation, and;
- over 84% of the population has been provided with access to electricity.
During the visit (8-9 October), Commissioner Piebalgs will meet President Mauricio Funes, as well as senior ministers, with whom he will discuss the future of EU cooperation with El Salvador, and welcome the results achieved so far.
He will also visit a hydroelectric plant partly financed by the EU through the Latin American Investment Facility (LAIF). This project will contribute significantly to climate and environmental protection by drastically reducing CO2 emissions, in a country where more than 50% of electricity capacity is based on fossil fuels.
El Salvador is a lower middle income country with significant poverty and income distribution challenges. It is the most densely populated country in the mainland American continent.
Between 2007 and 2013, €121 million was provided for El Salvador. This was spent on two main areas: fostering social cohesion and economic growth and regional integration and trade.
Commissioner Piebalgs has also visited Guatemala and Nicaragua as part of the official visit.
El Salvador has played an important role in aid effectiveness, with the Government leading the implemention of the aid effectiveness agenda and South-South Cooperation at Busan's Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in 2011; helping to develop both donors and recipients in the wider Latin America's region.
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Kazakh president sets out five priorities for #Kazakhstan’s 'Third Stage of Modernization'
In his annual address to the nation, Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan, announced five main priorities as part of what he described as “Kazakhstan’s third stage of modernization”. The priorities are aimed at ensuring economic growth and supporting the country to become one of the top 30 most developed countries in the world by 2050.
The five priorities are: Acceleration of technological modernization of the economy, improved business environment, macroeconomic stability, improved quality of human capital and institutional reforms, including improved security and more action to tackle corruption.
President Nazarbayev said in his annual address: “I am setting the task of ensuring the implementation of the Third Modernisation of Kazakhstan. It is necessary to create a new model of economic growth that will ensure the country's global competitiveness.”
He added: “This modernization is not a plan to combat current global challenges, but a reliable bridge to the future, to meet the objectives of Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy. It will be carried out on the basis of the 100 Concrete Steps Plan of the Nation.”
The Head of State also instructed the Government to developa package of measures for the technological re-equipment of basic industries by 2025.
The annual address followed a special announcement given by the President last week, in which he set out bold plansto increase the powers of parliament. President Nazarbayev stated that these constitutional reforms are aimed at furthering the democratic development of Kazakhstan, as the Government will be accountable to parliament.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev has proposed a constitutional reform aimed at furthering the democratic development of Kazakhstan. During a special televised address to the nation on 25 January, the President announced a number of functions that would be transferred either to the Government or Parliament. Public discussions on the proposed constitutional reforms will take place for the next month, concluding on 26 February. After this, the reforms will be presented to Parliament.