Today, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, starts a visit to Paraguay (7-9 October) and Peru (9-11 October) to discuss the implementation of the priorities for the countries' development.
Ahead of the mission, Commissioner Mimica said: "The EU looks at Paraguay and Peru as important and constructive partners in Latin America. We expect to strengthen our ties and develop further a new way of cooperation to be able to address together challenges of common concern."
While in Peru, Commissioner Mimica is expected to sign, with President Ollanta Humala, an agreement to disburse a €40 million package to support Peru's National Development and Social Inclusion Strategy. This support will serve to ensure the adequate development and health of children and young adults, by providing them with access to basic services such as water, education and medical care. The new funds will be targeted at five regions of the Peruvian Amazon which have both high poverty rates and major development gaps.
In Paraguay, Commissioner Mimica is expected to endorse the disbursement of €5 millionfor social protection, with the aim of ensuring basic services to the most vulnerable population and to increase economic inclusion. Commissioner Mimica will be able to see the results of EU support to Paraguay's education policy which benefitted from about €60 million of EU funds provided for 2009-2015 in the education sector.
In line with the EU's Agenda for Change, EU aid is focussed on countries and sectors that need it most and where it can make the biggest difference. This is the case of Peru and Paraguay.
On the visit to Peru
During the visit, Commissioner Mimica is expected to sign an initial package of €40 million (from a total €66 million being allocated to Peru between 2014 and 2017) to support Peru's implementation of the National Development and Social Inclusion Strategy. During the 2014 - 2017 period, the EU will continue to support democratic governance, social service delivery in the poorest and most remote regions of the country and to foster sustainable trade and investment while respecting labour rights and the environment.
Commissioner Mimica will visit the International Potato Centre, in Lima. The Centre, receiving EU support, is crucial for the preservation of genetic resources and the reintroduction of native potato species in the Andean region, which helps to make the production of poor peasants more resistant to climate change, therefore contributing to ensure food security. It also assists communities in assuring income generation by commercialising their products.
The Commissioner will also visit a water treatment plan, which provides clean water to Lima Metropolitan Area's residents and was recently expanded with international credit (KfW and the Interamerican Development Bank), including a €3.15 million grant from the European Commission for Technical Assistance through the EU-Latin America Investment Facility (LAIF).
On the visit to Paraguay
For the period 2014-2020, the EU has allocated a package of €168 million to Paraguay to target education, social protection and economic development.
Paraguay´s education policy ("the 2024 plan"), which is financially supported by the EU, has three main objectives: to increase access to education, to improve its quality and to improve the management of education policies. Thanks to EU support between 2009 and 2015 amounting to almost 60 million, it was possible to introduce cost-free primary and secondary education for around 1.3 million students in Paraguay.
During his visit, Commissioner Mimica will have the opportunity to see the results of these efforts during a school visit in the area of Asunción. He will be accompanied there by Paraguayan Minister of Education Marta Justina Lafuente. He will also be meeting Horacio Cartes, President of Paraguay as well as representatives of women's cooperatives, who are beneficiaries of EU funds.
Link to the factsheet: