Barbados is a small island in the eastern Caribbean and one of the most prosperous countries in the region. Since independence, Barbados has transformed itself from a low-income economy dependent on sugar production into an upper-middle-income economy. Tourism drives the economy but the financial services sector has become an increasingly important source of economic growth. With a GDP of US$3.4 billion and a per capita income of US$10.100, poverty rates are the lowest in the Caribbean. Social indicators in Barbados are also very good by Caribbean standards. Nonetheless, there are still a number of social challenges facing the nation, including small but concentrated pockets of poverty within society.
The Country Strategy Paper for Barbados (2008-2013) presents the strategic framework for the co-operation between the European Commission (EC) and Barbados under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). EC assistance under the 10th EDF will concentrate on a Skills Development Sectoral Support Programme to support the Government in its efforts to increase competitiveness and to allow sustainable growth and poverty alleviation. The programme also aims to improve the employability of Barbadians, paying special attention to the qualifications needed by youths, in order to reduce vulnerability and to improve overall productivity.
The EC's total allocation (2008-2013) foreseen for Barbados to address these priorities amounts to €10 million. The majority of funds will be provided though sectoral budget support.
In addition, Barbados is also a beneficiary of the EU/ACP Sugar Protocol.
The Country Strategy Paper for Barbados (2001-2007) allocated funding under the 9th EDF to “Health Sector Development” in the form of sectoral budget support for improving health services, in particular the quality of care and accessibility of services for the poor. The need for health sector reform in Barbados arose from the increasing concern at the nation’s capacity to sustain current levels of health care amidst rising costs and increasing demand for services, due to demographic developments and the increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases.
For further details on projects and programmes in Barbados funded from the European Development Fund and the general budget of the EU, please visit the project's section of the website of the Delegation of the European Union to Barbados.
Other sources of information
The Directorate-General for Development is responsible for drawing up the cooperation strategy with Barbados.
More information on EU relations with Barbados is available on the pages of the Delegation of the European Union to Barbados.
Information on trade relations in the ACP region can be found on the website of the Directorate-General for Trade.