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FM: We Participate in Efforts to Upgrade Development Cooperation
2009-05-08 10:21:40

Nicosia, May 4 (CNA) - Cyprus participates actively in the efforts of the international community and the EU to increase and upgrade development cooperation, Minister of Foreign Affairs Markos Kyprianou has said.

Addressing the seminar “CyprusAid, EuropeAid: Development cooperation in action,” which took place Monday in Nicosia, Mr. Kyprianou referred to illegal immigration, noting that improving the living standards of the countries of origin is important in efforts to combat illegal immigration.

The first session of the seminar was attended and addressed by the Cypriot Foreign Minister, Director General for EuropeAid Cooperation Office at the European Commission, Koos Richelle, Permanent Secretary of Cyprus’ Planning Bureau, Andreas Moleskis and Head of the European Commission’s Representation in Cyprus, Androulla Kaminara.

“Cyprus participates actively in the efforts of the international community and the EU to increase and upgrade development cooperation and contributes, to the extent of its abilities, to achieving its goals,” Mr. Kyprianou stressed.

The Cypriot FM said that participation in education, better health conditions, the creation of new jobs and technology are among the factors which can change the conditions, which contribute to mass immigration.

In his presentation, Director General of EuropeAid Cooperation Office, Koos Richelle, explained EuropeAid’s main tasks and mandate within the EC’s external relations family. He also provided an overview of EuropeAid’s performance since its creation in 2001 and the main challenges ahead for the implementation of external assistance programs.

He said that the European Union, composed of the member states and the European Commission, is the world’s biggest aid donor. The Commission’s EuropeAid co-operation office manages EU external aid programs and ensures that development assistance is delivered worldwide.

Koos Richelle noted that the 27 EU member states together with the European Commission have spent in 2008 49 billion euro and are responsible for 60% of all development aid. In comparison, he said that the US provides aid, reaching 22%.

The EU Commission, he added, is the second largest donor of humanitarian aid and the third largest donor of development aid in the world, followed by the US and Germany.

Referring to EuropeAid’s programs and projects around the world, he said that EuropeAid does more than deliver aid, it also tackles universal issues, promotes good governance, human and social development, security and migration, natural resources, and more.

EuropeAid draws on a range of EU financial instruments and programs to collaborate with partners from the following regions: Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific, Asia, the Gulf region, Latin America and European Union’s southern and eastern neighbors.

In his speech, Permanent Secretary of Cyprus’ Planning Bureau, Andreas Moleskis, focused on the strategy guiding CyprusAid’s actions.

He said that Cyprus’ development assistance is directed to a small number of countries where it finances the implementation of more comprehensive schemes of assistance and to a larger group of countries where Cypriot aid is in the form of technical assistance.

Currently, he added, the two groups of countries receiving aid from Cyprus are project countries - Autonomous Palestinian Territories, Egypt, Lebanon, Lesotho, Mali and Yemen – and Technical Assistance Countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Gambia, Georgia, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Pakistan, Sudan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

CyprusAid concerns the social and services sectors, infrastructure development and the environment.

There are currently six projects in progress in Autonomous Palestinian Territories, Egypt, Lebanon, Lesotho, Mali and Yemen, while five other projects have been completed in Lesotho, Mali, the Palestinian Territories and Yemen during the period 2006-2007.

Mr. Moleskis noted that the biggest part of CyprusAid for 2008 (47% or 12 million euro) was spent for aid to asylum seekers.

Addressing the seminar, Head of the European Commission’s Representation in Nicosia, Androula Kaminara said that development aid aims, among other things, to combat poverty, to support infrastructure and to help democratization of third countries.

Development aid, she said, constitutes a moral obligation of the developed world to third countries.

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