July 16, 2010
CDF now capitalised at US$82 million

The new Chairman of the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF), Dr. Bernard LaCorbinière, says the Fund is now capitalised at US$82 million.{{more}} In providing an update to the recent Conference of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads, Dr. LaCorbinière thanked the leaders for the confidence reposed in him and pledged to carry out his responsibilities with the fairness, prudence, and professionalism expected by the Member States and taxpayers of the Caribbean Community, as well as those of development partners.

The new Chairman spoke to the “Strategic Direction of the CDF” and the review of the CDF which was undertaken by an independent consultant, former prime minister of Barbados Owen Arthur. The Review concluded that, “the Agreement, procedures and programming approach being adopted by the CDF, comply with the Community decisions to bring the CDF into existence, and in large measure, the approach taken by the CDF is designed to give effect to a pragmatic and carefully balanced relationship between resources available to the Fund and the needs it will be required to meet.” The CARICOM Community Council, meeting prior to the Conference of Heads, endorsed the report of the consultant.

Dr. LaCorbinière noted that all Member States have contributed to the CDF and with Barbados’ full payment of its contribution, five Member States still have payments outstanding. The Chairman emphasised that despite the challenging global environment the CDF was aggressively seeking external funding and would soon engage in negotiations with the Government of Brazil in support of the CDF.

The Chairman, in thanking the Prime Minister of Barbados, David Thompson, for his commitment and support as the Lead Prime Minister of the CDF Resource Mobilisation Task Force, wished him a speedy recovery from his present illness.

Dr. LaCorbinière was appointed Chairman of the CDF by the Fourteenth Meeting of the Council for Finance and Planning in March 2010. He succeeds Dr. Shelton Nicholls who resigned as Chairman of the Board in July 2009 in the face of pressing commitments within the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago where he serves as one of the Deputy Governors.