The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) have signed an agreement which will provide an additional GBP30 million to the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF).
CDB said that under the agreement, which was signed on the side-lines of its Board of Directors meeting late last month, the majority of the funds will be used to establish a reconstruction window, to respond to emergencies and natural disasters, with resources earmarked for Dominica and Barbuda, the two Countries that were severely affected by the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria last September.
The bank said that a portion of the grant funding will also be used for monitoring and evaluation.
UKCIF was established to drive inclusive economic growth and development across the Caribbean, through the provision of vital infrastructure. All projects must build resilience to climate change.
“Recovery and reconstruction after a natural disaster can negatively impact a country’s budget. The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season caused significant damage and destruction in some of the UKCIF-eligible countries, and these additional funds are to assist Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda recover from the impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Maria,” said Monica La Bennett, CDB Vice-President for Operations.
UKCIF provides grant financing to eight Caribbean countries eligible for Official Development Assistance, and UK Overseas Territory, Montserrat, and is administered by CDB.
The original amount of GBP300 million has been fully committed to projects, which will be undertaken in these countries the CDB said, noting that capital projects approved to date include the rehabilitation of the Sir George Walter Highway and the Friars Hill Road in Antigua and Barbuda, development of the port at Little Bay, Montserrat and the Essex Valley Agricultural Development Project, Jamaica.
Feasibility studies and design preparation are ongoing in Belize, Dominica, Grenada and St. Vincent & the Grenadines while procurement activities to hire consultants to undertake similar services are underway for St. Lucia, Grenada and Guyana.