The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved financing of US$5.3 million for St Vincent and the Grenadines to support the response to the La Soufriere volcanic eruption which ravaged parts of the country in April 2021.
CDB President Dr Gene Leon, who is in the country on an official visit, today announced that the Bank has approved an Immediate Response Loan of US$ 5 million as well as an Emergency Assistance Grant of US$300,000.
Speaking at a media conference which was held at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kingstown, Leon said the Bank will also be accelerating the disbursement of funds for its development projects currently being implemented in the country.
“While we are supporting the recovery, CDB will also be bolstering the country’s development agenda by financing high priority projects that have transformative value,” the CDB President said.
Among the interventions is a US$142.5 million initiative to modernise the Kingstown Port. The project, which is being partially financed by the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF) will entail the construction of a new cargo port in the capital and upgrading of associated roadways to improve traffic flow in the central business district of Kingstown. Construction work is expected to commence in 2022.
St Vincent and the Grenadines is also set to benefit from the 10th cycle of CDB’s Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) which will finance projects designed to increase access to education and improve conditions in low-income and vulnerable communities.
Another initiative is the US $13.6 million School Improvement Project which will see nine schools being rehabilitated to enhance early childhood education.
Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves said: “From the time CDB became operational in 1970, it has had a tremendous impact on the development of St Vincent and the Grenadines and as we face the current challenges, I am impressed with the programmatic elements of the solutions the new team is providing and I appreciate their approach to partnership.”
Leon and a delegation from CDB are currently in St Vincent and the Grenadines for an outreach visit which is scheduled to run until July 25, 2021.