EU signs EC$18 million road programme with St Vincent and the Grenadines

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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).

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5 COMMENTS

  1. As the UK prepares to leave the E.U it is reported that “Analysis of official figures reveals the UK handed more than £1.53 billion to the world’s 20 most corrupt countries – up from £1.36 billion the previous year. The £170 million – 12 per cent –increase comes despite a string of aid money scandals. UK aid to the most corrupt nations has almost doubled in five years, rising from £814 million in 2012.”

    The St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and his Government, while being in receipt of British / EU moneys, have recently “accused the EU of using “hired ruffians” to bully small states into complying with its tax regime”.

    It is said that “He made the assertion in Parliament recently as lawmakers were summoned, two days after Christmas, to amend the International Business Companies Act, ahead of an EU review in February, which could have seen St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) blacklisted for non-compliance.”

    Indeed though happy to receive the EU money, such governments as that of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines, expect to be left alone to do as they so please without any outside scrutiny, either of their international obligations/compliance or of their Democratic credentials.

    Further the EU like the British, are often not very strict at all or severe enough in their supervision of their Grant Aid moneys, hence the very poor state of affairs that currently exist in so many countries who are in receipt of their monies.

    Perhaps we may now see the erection of a few road names throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines, or even some crash barriers and/or a little more street lighting too.

    This so, when these new moneys are spent, since we have been hearing so much talk here from this government of ours about a drive to attract would be tourist to the country, as driving around this country is a total nightmare, even for us locals.

  2. You are quite right James, the Gonsalves dynasty regime and in particular, the dictatorial Gonsalves himself spends his time in Cuba and at ALBA meetings calling the Americans and the British nasty names, whilst giving full support to scum nations such as Cuba and Venezuela who give us nothing for nothing.

    You can be sure that dynasty supporters will get the contracts and there will be kickbacks, I doubt asked for by or given to the comrade but kickbacks none the less to members of the regime.

    The roads in SVG are in need of repair because of government policy not to maintain them properly and in many cases not at all. The state of our roads are self-inflicted, but at least one road on the island is superb, built to last a hundred years without maintenance, yes I am talking about the road to the comrades’ house, the cement road built to airport runway standards.

    The dynasty, ULP government, and the comrade are simply stinkers.

  3. It is being argued in the UK that tens of millions of pounds in British Foreign Aid money could be used to build Hospital ships there to provide humanitarian relief – and help the British Royal Navy at the same time.

    It is being said there that The British International Development Secretary, one Penny Mordaunt, believes this dual role will quell concerns in the UK about Britain’s annual £14 billion Foreign Aid budget, some of which falls into the hands of undesirable Governments and gets misappropriated.

    Indeed it is also being reported here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, that prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has been saying that one of the major projects for his government in 2019 would be a new port in our capital city, Kingstown, and that the new facility would come in at a cost of some XCD $392 Million dollars in monies and that he further expected that this sum would come from the C.D.B and the British Government.

    As there is now much talk in the UK about their very large Foreign Aid Bill, one of Ralph Gonsalves remark on the subject Port was on delivery, Transparency in Government and of Good Governance.

    Yet one doubts his commitment to passing that now infamous St Vincent and the Grenadines “Freedom Of Information Bill.” A Parliamentary Bill that he so vigorously promised us as long ago as the year 1999, that went through parliament a little after he took up office for the first time, but which he later left to gather dust on some dusty shelf, somewhere in the Parliament building, never to see the light of day.

    It is further reported in Britain that Miss Mordaunt, a British Royal Navy reservist, is pushing for the British Treasury approval for her plan, having established a joint working group with the British Ministry of Defence to increase co-operation with her department.

    Miss Mordaunt is reported to have said that “the two departments have an opportunity to think more radically and entrepreneurially about what could be delivered”, adding: “I am committed to demonstrating how U.K Aid and the Armed Forces can work closely together to achieve the best outcomes for the UK, and, as we approach the next spending review, that we are ensuring we are using our budgets in the smartest way possible.”

    The British being cognisant of the constant reports of corruption on the part of precipitants of British Foreign Aid, are putting pressure on their government to get a grip of Britain’s annual £14 billion Foreign Aid budget.

    Whether the Argentines are in receipt of British Foreign Aid moneys it is not known but we note too that the former president of Argentina Cristina Kirchner now a senator, will go on trial for corruption there after allegedly taking millions of dollars in bribes during her term in office, a federal court confirmed on Thursday 20th December 2018.

    Cristina Kirchner is accused of effectively running a “bribery network” which was uncovered when a ministerial chauffeur was found with notebooks detailing millions of dollars in bribes paid by businessmen to government officials. Cristina appeared to have engaged her administration in crony Capitalism on an industrial scale.

    She is protected by lawmakers’ immunity from imprisonment for now, but not from prosecution. In August, the Senate voted to partially lift her immunity so that investigators could search her three luxury homes – but unless it is entirely lifted, she cannot be jailed even if found guilty. Prosecutor Carlos Stornelli has said a total of XCD $431 million in bribes was handed over between 2005 and 2015.

    The court also seized 1.5 billion pesos (XCD $130 million) worth of her assets and ordered former planning minister Julio de Vido to be prosecuted for his role in the illicit association. Several other people, former junior ministers and businessmen, were ordered to be released from detention but will still be prosecuted for bribery.

    Both Kirchner, 65, and her late husband and predecessor as president, Nestor, are suspected of having received millions of dollars in bribes from businessmen in exchange for large-scale public works contracts. The payments were documented by ministerial chauffeur Oscar Centeno in notebooks seized by investigators.

    Nestor Kirchner, who died of a heart attack in 2010, was president from 2003-07, with his wife then serving consecutive terms until 2015. More than a dozen former government officials and 30 top businessman are implicated in the case, first reported by La Nacion newspaper on August 1.

    Corruption appears to go hand in hand with governments that are unaccountable to their electorate and dictatorships like dynasties, by their very nature are always unaccountable. These form of abuse in government are certainly the breeding grounds for nepotism and crony capitalism.

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