ANTIGUA-Chinese donates EC$9m to defence force upkeep
ST JOHN’S –– The Antigua Defence Force has been awarded about EC$9 million to improve operations to protect the country’s borders. The funds were donated by the People Republic of China, and should cover a five-year period.
The commander of the defence force, Sir Trevor Thomas, said the money would be used to get vehicles and other equipment.
“We do have an order that was placed around April for search and rescue equipment, a few vehicles like buses, some computers, as well as some kitchen equipment,” Sir Trevor said.
He said he did not know the exact cost of the batch that was pending, but noted there would be monies left over to purchase other items, as the need arose, over the next five years.
The official said every five years since the early 2000s, the People’s Republic of China had made similar financial contributions to the organization.
“The money is spent in China, but I can tell you that once or twice they have sourced things in Europe and sent it to us, because they would not have had it,” Sir Trevor said.
Last year, the Defence Force received over a dozen vehicles from China. And, Sir Trevor said they proved very useful in the clean-up process during Tropical Storm Gonzalo in October.