The International Development Committee of the Council of Ministers has committed part of its budget for the next three years to ensure the continuation of the Small Countries Financial Management Programme (SCFMP).
Organisers have praised the Isle of Man for its vision and commitment to a project which contributes to the development of participating nations through capacity building in government financial administration.
The SCFMP was established in 2009 to provide a tangible way in which the Isle of Man could use its financial expertise to benefit small developing countries around the world, including nations from Africa and the Caribbean, and Pacific and Indian Ocean Regions.
Treasury provided the initial funding and helped to develop the programme in conjunction with the World Bank, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Small States Network for Economic Development, and leading faculty from the University of Oxford.
The new arrangements mean the Isle of Man will remain the primary sponsor until 2015-16, as part of the International Development Committee’s focus on long-term partnership agreements.
The Committee, which is responsible for the provision of international development funding and emergency aid, has committed £300,000 a year to the SCFMP for the next three years.
Phil Gawne MHK, Chairman of the International Development Committee, said:
'This approach reinforces our aim of providing nations with the resources and knowledge they need to help themselves, and strengthens the Isle of Man’s reputation as an internationally responsible and co-operative nation. It also reflects our desire to complement traditional funding streams with a fresh emphasis on supporting larger-scale training and capacity building programmes. Our three-year commitment to the SCFMP provides stable, sustainable funding to maintain a hugely successful initiative that has already benefited 29 small countries.'
The SCFMP is co-ordinated by the Small Countries Financial Management Centre, an Isle of Man charity, and brings together officials from finance ministries, central banks and regulatory bodies in small developing countries for an intensive learning experience.
The intention is to promote the sustainable development of small state economies and give them a more powerful voice within the international community. The annual programme helps to achieve this by focusing on ‘operationally useful’ skills and real-life experiences, so that participants can apply practical and fresh approaches to the challenges they face at home.
Executive Director of the Small Countries Financial Management Centre, Tim Cullen, who has been instrumental in developing the programme, said:
‘The generosity, vision and commitment of the Isle of Man will enable the SCFMP to continue and to build on the success that has been achieved to date. Improving the capacity of small nations to manage their own financial sectors constitutes one of the most effective uses of overseas development funding, and we hope other countries will follow the Island’s positive lead.’
This year’s two week programme will take place in the Isle of Man and Oxford in July, and will once again offer participants access to some of the best practitioners and professors in the world.