Aruba is eligible for funds from the EU every seven years as a country and as one of the "Overseas Countries and Territories" (OCT).
The EU has made €40 million available through the 11th Regional European Development Funds to fund the RESEMBID program. Expertise France, a French cooperation agency, is in charge of the management of RESEMBID and coordinates the preparation and implementation of projects, together with the 12 OCTs in the Caribbean. Of the €40 million allocated, a total of €27 million was approved for projects in the islands. For studies by the World Bank, including the research report "Building Aruba's Food Security During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond," €3 million was allocated to Aruba in 2020. The remaining funds are allocated to the supervision and management of the program by Expertise France. Implementation of the projects has experienced delays due to the pandemic but will resume in the coming months. To date, 14% of the total funds have been spent and all funds are expected to be allocated to the islands by the end of 2023.
Of the projects submitted by Aruba, five projects were approved in the first phase. A decision on four submitted projects is still awaited.
Aruba will receive funding for the following projects:
- Aruba's Public Safety and Multi-hazard Early Warning System. Area: Resilience;
- Support for the National Energy Policy 2020-2030: stimulating energy efficiency and electric mobility. Area: Sustainable Development;
- Public Sector Energy Cost Savings Program: improving financial resilience and reducing carbon footprint. Area: Renewable Energy;
- Validation of low-cost replicable citizen science methods to monitor shallow marine ecosystems on small islands. Area: Marine Biodiversity.
- Fostering connectivity to self-achieve deeper connectivity with nature: an awareness program. Area: Marine Biodiversity.
The total amount that Aruba will receive for the mentioned projects is €18 million.
As an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, it is important to submit projects to qualify for the available European funds, according to the Minister of Economic Affairs, Communications, and Sustainable Development, Mr. Geoffrey Wever, who is also the Territorial Authorizing Officer for the EDF for Aruba. The Territorial Authorizing Officer is responsible for the planning, coordination, and implementation of projects funded by the European Development Fund (EDF). A program like RESEMBID is important for the development of our country.
For more information about the RESEMBID, you may consult its website. You may also contact the Department of Economy, Commerce, and Industry (DEACI).