KINGSTOWN, St Vincent — The European Union has signed a financing agreement of EC$18.35 million (€5.98 million) with the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines for a road management and rural road improvement programme. This programme will be implemented by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) under an agreement with the European Union.
The overall objective of the intervention is to enhance the quality of and to improve climate change resilience of the road network in St Vincent and the Grenadines, in particular rural roads. Under the initiative approximately ten kilometres of road will be repaired and upgraded, and a national road maintenance database established. The database will be instrumental in the efficient and proper maintenance of roads in the country in general and also at times of damage from hurricanes and flooding. Such efficient maintenance is expected to contribute to the stimulation of economic activities in rural communities and reduced vulnerability to climate change.
To reduce the adverse effects of natural disasters in infrastructure, and therefore in rural roads contributing to their sustainability, the road maintenance programme will incorporate disaster risk reduction measures, such as preventative maintenance, appropriate zoning, hazard mapping, as well as flood and landslide mitigation.
The EU welcomed the CDB’s determination to implement the project, especially with their experienced gained from disaster risk reduction focused on road rehabilitation in the region. This first experience in road maintenance, using high intensity labour methods (HILO) and green techniques, will be the pilot for eventual new interventions in other countries on which agriculture is one of the economy’s pillars.
The European Union Delegation will continue to support St Vincent and the Grenadines’ efforts to create a resilient road network that will ensure sustained and inclusive economic growth of the agricultural sector in the long term.
The EU has provided development aid to St Vincent and the Grenadines since the 8th European Development Fund (EDF). The overall programme budget for the current 11th EDF intervention is approximately EC$41.42 million (€13.5M) until 2020, with EC$18.40 million (€6M) earmarked as B-envelop. St Vincent and the Grenadines also benefits from EU assistance channelled through thematic interventions. Among others, the most important is the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM), with an EC$30.46 million allocation (€9.93M), to be implemented in five years (finishing in 2023).