The Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, will be the featured speaker at the CARICOM Development Fund’s (CDF) Fourth Annual Meeting of Contributors and Development Partners being held in Barbados on Thursday.
Also addressing the meeting at The Courtyard Marriott will be Chief Executive Officer of the CDF, Ambassador Lorne McDonnough, who will present the Fund’s Annual Report for 2013 and give details on the Country Assistance Programme (CAP).
The Barbados-based CDF was launched in 2008 as a cohesion fund with a mandate to support “disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors” within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) by providing grants, loans and technical assistance in order to assist various sectors to grow and become more competitive. To date its focus has been more on small business, business development and building competitiveness.
CDF has also extended funds for infrastructure projects in some of the countries and the new million Argyle International Airport being constructed in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is one of the major infrastructural projects within CARICOM in which the organization is involved.
The original CAP agreement was signed with the Government on May 24, 2011 for US $4.2million and a supplement for US $3.3million was signed in December 2012 to bring the total value of the CAP to US $7.5million. The mixture of loans and grants has been used to procure and install runway lighting, a stone crusher plant and base placing equipment for the runway and taxiway.