BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- Two new country assistance programmes (CAPS), for Dominica and Guyana, and one new supplementary application will be considered by the Barbados-based CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) when its board of directors meet in Belize on Wednesday and Thursday.
CDF’s remit is to address disparities resulting from the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), and focuses on providing concessionary loans and grants that address objectives related to the implementation of the CSME, with an emphasis on small-to-medium size projects of a short implementation period.
This 16th regular meeting of the board will also deal with matters ranging from the customary review of the investment portfolio/fund managers report and the implementation of the Biennium Work Programme.
In addition to considering the two new CAPs, the meeting will also revisit the board’s consideration of a key policy document, ‘The Guidelines and Procedures for Country Assistance Programmes’ as well as address , inter alia, the pressing issue of ‘The Sustainability Strategy for the CDF’.
This meeting will also see changes to the composition of the board of directors, as two new directors will begin their tenure. Rodinald Soomer, who previously functioned as the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States’ (OECS) ‘alternate’ director, has formally been appointed as the OECS director while Dr Alison Plummer has been formally appointed as one of the less developed countries’ (LDC) directors. Nigel John (private sector representative) is the deputy chair and is currently serving as the acting chairman of the board of directors of the CDF.
The CDF was established under Article 158 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas “for the purpose of providing financial or technical assistance to disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors.” It is the centre-piece of the regime to address the disparities among the member states of CARICOM which may result from the implementation of the CSME. The agreement relating to the operations of the fund was signed in July 2008 and the CDF began operating on August 24, 2009.
Whilst all members of the CDF are eligible to receive financial and technical assistance support from the Fund, only the designated disadvantaged countries -- the LDCs (OECS and Belize) and Guyana (as a highly indebted poor country) currently have access to resources during the first contribution cycle.