St Lucia is a small upper middle income country located in the Caribbean Sea. It is a small island developing state with all the inherent challenges such as a narrow economic base and a high vulnerability to external shocks and natural disasters. The country's economy is traditionally based on agriculture (bananas and other crops), but has a growing services sector centred on tourism and a manufacturing. The country enjoys a relatively high index of human development as social indicators are relatively good. According to the 2008 UNDP Human Development Report, Saint Lucia was ranked 66 out of 179 countries. However, there are also considerable social gaps and deficiencies, one of the most important being a high level of poverty linked to a high unemployment rate.
The Country Strategy Paper for St Lucia (2008-2013) presents the strategic framework for the co-operation between the European Commission (EC) and St Lucia under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). EC assistance under the 10th EDF will mainly concentrate on private sector development to assist the government with the implementation of policies and strategies aimed at achieving private sector-led growth.
The EC's total allocation (2008-2013) foreseen for St Lucia to address this priority amounts to €10.1 million.
All EU projects in St Lucia will also address cross-cutting issues such as democracy, good governance, human rights, the rights of children, gender, environment and HIV/AIDS.
The EC aid provided to Saint Lucia since 1975 is estimated at €150 million. The Country Strategy Paper for St Lucia (2001-2007) under 9th EDF focussed on support to the health sector. The programme aims at increasing the capacity of the health service through the construction of a new national hospital whilst at the same time improving the quality and effectiveness of health services.
In addition, since 1999, St Lucia has been benefiting from more than €71 million in grants from the Special Framework of Assistance for Traditional ACP suppliers of Bananas, under the general budget of the EC.
For further details on projects and programmes in St Lucia 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, responsible for St Lucia.
Other sources of information
The Directorate-General for Development is responsible for drawing up the cooperation strategy with St Lucia.
More information on EU relations with St Lucia is available on the pages of the Delegation of the European Union to Barbados, which is responsible for co-operation activities in the country.
Information on trade relations in the ACP region can be found on the website of the Directorate-General for Trade.