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Notice served

Barbados may need to borrow from CDF

Barbados has served notice that it may need to borrow from the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF).

That’s according to St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves who has urged Barbados and other CDF members to pay in their contributions, despite their domestic economic challenges, to keep the fund alive.

He was speaking during the CDF’s fourth contributors’ meeting at the Courtyard by Marriot today. Although unable to attend in person as scheduled, because of illness, Gonsalves spoke to the participants via telephone.

Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM Robert “Bobby” Morris (left) and Minister in the Office  of the Prime Minister Senator Darcy Boyce.

In attendance were Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM Robert “Bobby” Morris (left) and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Senator Darcy Boyce.

“In the first [contribution cycle of the CDF], Jamaica and Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago had indicated that they were not interested in borrowing, although I now understand that both Barbados and Jamaica are showing interest that in the second cycle [which begins in July next year], they want to have monies made available to them,” he said.

“I want to urge that our countries in CARICOM who are members of CDF, that we meet the target, plus [there will be] monies rolled over from the first cycle, and hopefully the international donors will contribute in the second round.”

The CDF was established to provide financial or technical assistance to disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors. All member states – Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago – are required to contribute to the fund on the basis of a formula agreed to by the CARICOM Heads of Government.

During her address to the conference, director of planning in the Ministry of Finance in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Laura Anthony-Browne, said the CDF remains relevant and member countries must play their part in ensuring that continues.

Director of planning in the Ministry of Finance in St Vincent and the Grenadines Laura Anthony-Browne.

Director of planning in the Ministry of Finance in St Vincent and the Grenadines Laura Anthony-Browne.

“Some persons may argue, and/or suggest, that in the current global environment, and perhaps considering donor fatigue, that the establishment of the CDF is simply an additional and perhaps unnecessary bureaucratic layer to an already overburdened system,” she said.

However, Anthony-Browne insisted, the CDF should be preserved since it is “a vital institution, necessary and relevant particularly to those countries which experience disparities or development challenges consequent upon the implementation of the CSME”.

“CDF is relevant too, for all of us small island developing states which continue to be adversely affected by the impact of climate change . . . . In order for CDF to remain relevant, it goes without saying that it has to maintain and escalate its levels of financial and technical assistance to its members. It can do so only if its development partners, and the member countries themselves, continue with their previous levels of support, and . . . exceed previous commitments.”

Around US$90 million is required for the next CDF cycle.

2 Responses to Notice served

  1. Tony Jennings
    Tony Jennings September 19, 2014 at 5:38 am

    People are not paying attention. If you have a job, go to work. Fetes are fine, after work.

  2. Tony Webster September 19, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Well, well, well. Shades of déjà vu. Why does this stir dim memories of another excellent CARICOM “co-operative” effort..euphemistically (and optimistically) called the C.M.C.F. (Caribbean Muli-lateral Clearing Fund)…which in ?..had an early demise, after Cde. Lynden Forbes Burnham done use-up all de funds…and forgot to repay the same.

    Some of us CARICOM types, doan know much about “co”…but could be tutors up de hill…about “operating”

    I suggest that our Mystery of Finance, apply for an American Express credit-card, mainly owin’ (sorry dat slip-out) to the reason that such cards have no limit. No, I do not have one, but have been reliably so informed. Yes, you could believe what I tell you…hook, lying…and sinkler. Yes, AE does expect repayment. Unfortunately.


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