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Statement by European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs following the signing of the National Indicative Programmes with 16 ACP countries

By European Commission
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BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, June 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- "This signing of National Indicative Programmes with 16 partner countries, at the EU-ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific countries) Joint Council of Ministers in Kenya, marks the official go-ahead for the future of EU aid in these countries1. These documents lay down the priorities for our joint work for the next seven years and will allow us to move ahead with the concrete preparations of our projects and programmes.

For the European Union it is essential that our programmes are drawn up in close cooperation with our partner countries, based on governments' own policies and strategies and reflecting their stated needs. This is how we ensure that programming documents really support national priorities where the EU can add value.

Europe remains ACP's main development partner, and it's determined to help its partners exploit their potential to the full on the way forward. The European Commission will grant, through the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), 29.1 billion euro over the next seven years for that purpose.

The benefits of our relationship are clear. Since 2004, thanks to EU support, 14 million new pupils enrolled in Primary Education, over 18 million children have been immunised against measles, and 70 million people have been connected to improved drinking water.

Building on the strong relationship that already exists between us in the coming years will also mean getting better at what we are doing. The National Indicative programmes we signed today will contribute to this aim, as they are in line with the Agenda for Change, the EU's policy blueprint to target its resources where they are most needed and can be the most effective".

MEMO/14/433: Signing of National Indicative Programmes with 16 ACP countries

1: Signatory Countries in Africa: Botswana, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome e Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, and Tanzania. Signatory Countries in the Caribbean: Surinam