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The contribution was formalized at a signing ceremony on 11 July involving LDC ministers, EIF donor countries and heads of delegations on the sidelines of the Global Review of Aid for Trade taking place at the WTO in Geneva from 11 to 13 July 2017.

 As the world’s largest provider of AfT, the EU and its member states help to provide policy, technical and capacity‑building support to LDCs aimed at contributing to poverty reduction and sustainable development. The EU contributed USD 13 million for the implementation of EIF Phase One (2009-2015) which generated 131 projects, totalling just over USD 143 million. Among these, 95 focused on helping countries improve their trade and development policy capacity and 36 on addressing trade barriers and increasing their trading capacities. Overall, the EU has contributed approximately USD 24 million to the EIF.

At the signing ceremony, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo announced that a Replenishment Conference would take place in 2018 to mobilize additional resources for Phase Two of the EIF programme. He said: “I am very pleased to see the EIF receiving additional financial resources to deliver on its very important mission to support the LDCs to leverage growth, development and job creation. This is essential to creating a truly inclusive trading system – and to achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals. I am particularly thankful to the European Union and Commissioner Mimica for the generous donation that was formalized this week at the WTO, during the Global Review of our Aid for Trade initiative.” His speech is available here.

The European Commissioner in charge of International cooperation and Development, H.E. Neven Mimica, said: “Trade has helped to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty worldwide but the benefits of growth have not been felt equally across countries and regions. We need to link our various means of implementation more effectively, includingthe Official Development Assistance, investment policies and domestic policies promoting inclusive and sustainable trade. Through our new contribution, we aim to help LDCs achieve sustainable development and eradicate poverty.”

Sweden’s WTO Ambassador and Permanent Representative and Chair of the EIF Steering Committee, H.E. Daniel Blockert, said:“The EU’s contribution will go a long way in supporting the EIF’s ability to keep delivering results, including in helping LDCs draw additional funding to implement their trade agendas. We hope that the donors’ contributions can be translated into concrete projects, complemented by the key roles played by all members of the EIF partnership.”

The Executive Director of the Executive Secretariat for the EIF, Ratnakar Adhikari, said: “We greatly appreciate the EU’s timely and valuable support to the EIF Trust Fund. We would like to thank the EU and its Member States, the EU Commissioner in particular, and people for their confidence in the EIF. This new contribution is timely as the programme’s role has been clearly defined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

With the EU’s support, the EIF programme will continue to help poor countries implement trade reforms, improve their business environments, support private sector engagement and better integrate into the global trading system. This will help increase market opportunities that can be translated into increased job and income opportunities in the LDCs, especially for the poor, for women and for young people.

The EIF is supported by a multi-donor trust fund and provides financial and technical support to build trade capacity in 47 LDCs and four graduated countries for poverty reduction, inclusive growth and sustainable development. The EIF is a unique partnership among LDCs, donors and international agencies (IMF, ITC, UNCTAD, UNDP, UNIDO, UNWTO, World Bank, and WTO). It is the only global Aid for Trade (AfT) programme exclusively designed to helping LDCs develop sustainable trade strategies. Through a multilateral approach, the EIF ensures a coordinated, transparent and efficient delivery of AfT. The EIF is recognized under Goal 8a of the Sustainable Development Goals.

For more information, please visit the EIF website www.enhancedif.org.

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