BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- The three-year-old Barbados-based CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) has approved EC$95.58 million (US$35.4 million) in assistance to member states to date, through its country assistance programmes (CAPS).
This was revealed last Monday by CEO, Lorne McDonnough, as he and Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines signed an agreement for EC$8.8 million (US$3.262 million) in additional support for the development of that country’s new Argyle International Airport.
The CDF’s mission includes strengthening and deepening the CSME process and McDonnough urged CARICOM member states to ensure it remained capable of providing sustained assistance over time, in order to ameliorate disparities and provide assistance to disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors.
He stressed, “We at the CDF, for our part, are committed to tight fiscal management and transparency. We have a small but motivated staff and, with the support of the national executing agencies, will ensure that our programmes will be relevant, effective, efficient and sustainable.”
St Vincent and the Grenadines was the first member state to benefit from a CAP and McDonnough was satisfied with the progress. The additional loan will support the acquisition of more vehicles and equipment to transport the aggregates and base laying material to the worksite.
He also revealed that, specifically, the concessionary loan to the International Airport Development Company would be delivered in two tranches on terms similar to the initial loan, namely at a nominal interest rate of three percent per annum for 12 years, with a grace period of two years on interest.
McDonnough stressed: “The Argyle International Airport, when completed, will contribute to the reduction of disparities as prescribed in Chapter Seven of the Treaty and notably change the lives of the citizens of St Vincent and the Grenadines.”
He added that the CDF was pleased to have had its board approval of the additional facility in less than six months and that the goal was to facilitate the satisfaction of export demand for agricultural output and tourism services at reasonable cost to the beneficiary.
The CDF has signed other agreements with the governments of Belize, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis and will follow suit in the coming month with Dominica and Guyana.
Ms Lorne McDonnough, Do you realize what a dire position you are putting SVG in? Under this Marxist led government we the people are suffering whilst more and more loans are piled on us, loans we can never and will never be able to repay.
We now owe $1.3 billion dollars. Please stop giving out loans, give us grants or gifts, not loans, you are not helping the people. You are assisting a Marxist regime to cling to power.
And this is Marxism at its best “BREAK THE BANK, BREAK THE HUMAN SPIRIT”
"Between eight and nine out of every 20 children in St. Vincent, live in households that do not always have enough food and are therefore classified as food-insecure. Respondents in St. Vincent consistently listed poverty as the most important barrier to accessing social services such as education, health care and legal protection". [from an official report]