News Release - May 26, 2008

Published on
May 26, 2008 No. 12/08 - BOD NEWS RELEASE CDB APPROVES USD 5 MILLION GRANT FOR HAITI Poor young Haitians between the ages of 15 and 24 years will have enhanced access to technical and vocational education and training through a project being supported financially by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The Bank's Board of Directors has approved a grant equivalent to USD 5 million to the Government of the Republic of Haiti for this project. Approval was granted during a meeting of the Board chaired by CDB President, Dr. Compton Bourne, on Monday, May 26, 2008, at the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Under the project, three vocational schools will be rehabilitated and expanded, and transformed into reference centres. These reference centres will serve as model or demonstration centres to respond to the labour needs of the regions in which they are located, and to provide support to other training centres in the region. Furniture and equipment for the centres will also be provided, as well as assistance to the Government in formulating an institutional and policy framework to guide developments in technical and vocational education and training. The Haitian Government will provide USD 1.4 million for the project. This represents 22% of the total cost. GRENADA GETS FURTHER CDB SUPPORT FOR DISASTER MITIGATION AND RESTORATION The Government of Grenada is to receive an additional loan equivalent to USD 3.7 million from CDB to help finance cost overruns and additional works under a disaster mitigation and restoration project. The project is to deal with rockfall land slippage. It consists of restoration of damaged retaining structures at selected locations along the main road network, and mitigation of rockfall hazards at selected sites. CDB initially approved a loan equivalent to USD 5.2 million for this project in December 2005. However, a new site in Brizan which started to show signs of land slippage has been added to the revised project. ADDITIONAL CDB FINANCING FORROAD IMPROVEMENT AND MAINTENANCE IN DOMINICA A project intended to save road users time and reduce vehicle operating costs will benefit from an additional loan equivalent to USD 3.1 million to the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica. Other significant benefits expected include improved safety and new Tourism-generated business opportunities created by the improved access to Tourism sites in the Roseau valley. A loan equivalent to USD 5.5 million was initially approved by the CDB Board in September 2005 for the project, which involves the rehabilitation of approximately 12.5 kilometres of road. It also includes the upgrading of an access road, procurement of two portable weighbridges, provision of engineering services and project management. The additional funding is necessary to assist with financing cost overruns associated with the project. ______ The CDB President also notified the Board of Directors of other financing which he approved since the last meeting of the Board: CDB FINANCES CXC REVIEW A grant equivalent to USD 149,100 to the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) was approved to assist with financing a consultancy to review CXC's core business processes. The objective is to effect greater efficiency in examinations processing for the countries of the Region. CXC was established 34 years ago as the examinations authority of member countries of the Caribbean Community. It has become imperative to conduct a detailed study of the Council's internal processes which drive its core business, because of the increasing demand for new products and the pervasive use of new communications technologies, among other things. REGIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE CENTRE GETS CDB SUPPORT The use of funds equivalent to USD 42,350 was approved to finance the services of consultants to create the legal framework for setting up a trust fund for the programmes of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, as well as to develop recommendations for managing the assets of the trust fund. The Centre, which is located in Belize, was established by CARICOM and has been operating since 2004 as a regional mechanism to address climate change issues. It derives its revenue from grants and from executing climate change projects. CDB BOOST FOR CARICOM DEVELOPMENT FUND Efforts to establish a CARICOM Development Fund received a boost when the use of funds equivalent to USD 85,000 was approved to finance consultancy services to discuss and explore the outstanding issues involved in making the Fund operational. These discussions are to be held with decision-makers at the highest level in the CARICOM Region with a view to developing appropriated recommendations. The Fund is viewed as a mechanism to endure that some countries are not disadvantaged by the arrangements for widening and deepening the regional integration movement. Significant work had been done to address the technical issues involved in "operationalising" the Development Fund, however, a number of policy issues still remain to be resolved. CDB FINANCES REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY STUDY The use of funds equivalent to USD 64,000 was approved to finance consultancy services for establishing and operating a Regional Development Agency. Such an agency is expected to carry out functions outlined in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which established the Caribbean Community, to address issues of disadvantage in countries, sectors and regions as a result of the implementation and operation of the revised Treaty. This agency is regarded as critical for full participation of the less developed and more vulnerable members of the regional integration grouping. CDB GRANT FOR EASTERN CARIBBEAN ENTERPRISE FUND A grant equivalent to USD 65,000 to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank was approved. The grant is to assist win financing a study to determine the feasibility of creating the Eastern Caribbean Enterprise Fund, and, if feasible, a bankable and comprehensive business plan with strategies to establish the Fund successfully. This Fund would finance and support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises in member countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States. CDB PROMOTES THE USE OF SOVEREIGN RATINGS The use of funds equivalent to USD 65,000 was approved to assist in financing the cost of providing independent sovereign rating assessments of two of the Bank's borrowing members - Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica. CDB has been encouraging its borrowing members who have not yet done so, to seek independent assessments of their economic and fiscal situation and prospects from the perspective of the credit markets. The objective of the project is to contribute to improved fiscal and operations management in the countries through the exercise of greater care and prudence in fiscal and economic management. This is being done with a view to preserving and enhancing investor confidence in the domestic economy through maintenance of good credit ratings. MICROFINANCE INSTITUTIONS IN THE CARIBBEANRECEIVE CDB SUPPORT A grant equivalent to USD 30,744 to CDN Management Services Limited was approved to assist with the organisation and delivery of management training workshop for microfinance institutions. The workshop was held in Trinidad and Tobago from January 29 to February 1, 2008. A total of 20 managers of microfinance institutions from seven of the Bank's borrowing member countries attended the intensive four-day workshop. Workshop sessions included strategic planning, management information systems and performance management, credit and loan management and marketing. CDB SUPPORTS STUDY FORPOLICY-BASED LOAN FOR ST. LUCIA The use of funds equivalent to USD 65,000 was approved to finance the services of a consultant to design a proposal for a policy-based loan by CDB to the Government of St. Lucia. This loan is expected to provide the Government with the fiscal space and institutional capacity to implement its development programme in a way that will support the country's projected GDP growth rates.

Related News