CDB and Guyana Sign USD40 million Agreements

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Two agreements for Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) funding to Guyana totalling USD40 million were signed in Georgetown on Monday, February 25, 2013, by Guyana's Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh and CDB Vice-President (Operations), Dr. Carla Barnett. The agreements are for a USD34 million loan for the upgrade the West Coast Demerara road from Vreed-en-Hoop to Parika, and a USD6 million grant to facilitate projects under the CDB's Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF). Dr. Singh, noting that over 100,000 persons will benefit from the road upgrade, said this project is "the latest instalment in our efforts to upgrade and expand our country's physical infrastructure and in particular the country's transport infrastructure, recognising the catalytic role that transportation plays in our economic development." The Finance Minister also lauded the work of CDB in funding the Community Roads Improvement Project (CRIP) and called it a prominent example of the work of the bank. He said that CRIP is funding community road rehabilitation in 12 neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) across the country. Singh noted that the grant agreement under the BNTF is aimed at meeting basic needs and targeting critical poverty alleviation intervention in vulnerable communities across the region. And that this latest grant will be spent on funding projects in the area of education, infrastructure and water. "I have witnessed how communities across our country have benefitted from BNTF programmes," he said, while pointing out that this was not only in the area of small infrastructural projects but also in skills training, ICT training, among others. "I was extremely gratified to hear the stories of how many of these graduates had gone on to acquire jobs with their newly acquired skills." "The CDB has also done work in education and skills training. The most prominent example of that would be the two brand new technical institutes built at Leonora and Mahaicony. They represent an important addition to our tertiary education stock," he said. Guyana joined the BNTF programme in 1993 (BNTF3) and has so far received funding of USD29.406 million making it the largest beneficiary among the ten participating countries. Dr. Barnett revealed that in addition to the signing of the agreements yesterday, the CDB was engaging the government on the programme that it will be working on with Guyana over the next four years. CAPTION: (L-R) Mr. Tarachand Balgobin, Head, Project Cycle Management Division, Ministry of Finance of Guyana observes the signing of the agreements by Guyana's Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh and CDB Vice-President (Operations), Dr. Carla Barnett. Additional quotes for the story taken from Stabroek Newspaper

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