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12th of December 2017
   
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European Development Cooperation


   
National Grants: 
There was no allocation from the 9th EDF for Aruba but the 8th EDF was transferred to the 9th EDF and Aruba benefited from a reallocation of funds following the 9th EDF Mid-Term Review. This amounted to EUR 9,8 million. Two projects were financed, which are the National Park Arikok and the National Museum. The overall objective pursued under these projects was to promote development in Aruba, dedicating specific attention to the integration of tourism into social, cultural and economic life in a manner that is sustainable and in harmony with the environment. The projects focus on (a) environmental conservation and (b) the preservation of the cultural heritage. The Government of Aruba places great emphasis on improving its tourist product by developing more local attractions, thus actively contributing to sustainable growth of the tourism sector. 
Archeological Museum Aruba Project:
The restoration of the historical Ecury Complex into the National Museum will contribute to the preservation and safeguarding of Aruban cultural heritage for cultural, commercial and educational use. The total budget for the restoration and building of the museum was EUR 4,4 million. The official opening of the Museum took place in July 2009 with an official ceremony with the presence of members of the Dutch Royal family. 
Arikok National Park Project:
The purpose of the project Arikok National Park is the upgrading of the Arikok National Park enabling its full and sufficient operation and thereby contributing to the preservation of Aruba’s natural heritage, such as flora, fauna, and typical landscape. The project consisted of two activities namely the construction of the roads within the park and the construction of the visitors centre and the administrative offices. The total investment for this project was EUR 5,4 million. The official opening of the Parke Arikok also took place in July 2009 with an official ceremony with the presence of members of the Dutch Royal family.  
Regional Cooperation 
HIV Aids:
In terms of regional cooperation, Aruba collaborates with all other OCTs in the Caribbean, neighboring ACP’s and EU Outermost Regions through the EC/OCT Regional Programme “Strengthening the Integration of the British & Dutch OCTs in the Regional Response to HIV/AIDS through PANCAP”. The execution of the programme started in 2009 and will end in 2013. The total cost of the programme is estimated at EUR 6,710,810. The overall objective of this programme is to halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS in the British and Dutch Caribbean OCTs and minimize its impact on the health, social and economic sectors, in the context of poverty reduction strategies. The purpose is to strengthen the British and Dutch OCTs’ capacity to manage and implement an effective multisectoral response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and achieve greater integration within the regional HIV/AIDS response in the Caribbean.   
Regional Risk Reduction Initiative (R3I) (Disaster Management):
The OCT R3I Project is a €4.932 million, three year initiative funded by the European Commission and coordinated by the UNDP Barbados and the OECS Sub-regional Office. This project started in 2009 and will serve seven United Kingdom and Dutch Overseas Countries and Territories in the Caribbean, specifically Anguilla, Aruba, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten. The project’s objectives are to develop the local capacities of the OCTs and provide them with tools (spatial data infrastructure and models) and best practices to support a comprehensive disaster risk management approach and to increase the Capacity building in disaster risk management between all the regional OCT’s. The expected outputs of the project include capacity of OCTs in comprehensive disaster risk management in relation to hazard mapping and vulnerability assessments increased Early Warning System feasibility study and pilot implemented, capacity built in response, rescue and recovery, and technical assistance provided for local institutions and implementing agents. 
Small Medium Enterprises (SME):
The project “Strengthening the development of Small and Medium Enterprises of the British & Dutch OCTs in the Caribbean Region” is a EUR 15 million project. The project restarted in 2010 and will have duration of 84 months in total. The coordinator of this project is the BVI. The overall objective of this Programme is to strengthen the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the British and Dutch OCTs to reduce social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities through enhanced cooperation and competitiveness within the region.  The enhanced development of small and medium enterprises (SME) will have the distinct comparative advantages in providing inter-sector linkages to initiate the necessary future employment, upgrading of production, service delivery mechanisms and income generation within the OCTs and the wider Caribbean region.  This will provide OCT tradable products and SMEs with wider marketing prospects in the region and improved integration into the global economy.  The diversity and flexibility of the OCTs indicates that the regional approach will contribute to existing platforms for exchange and enlargement of SME capacities. Small business development is particularly served when economies of scale are achieved in the design and updating of training modules, the creation of information networks and the forging of public-private partnerships.  The development of regional and international linkages will strengthen existing markets and overcome obstacles related to the typical high cost of doing business in the Caribbean.