June 21, 2013

EC$96.4 million in donations to international airport received to date

To date, the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines has received cash donations totalling EC$96.4 million from foreign countries, to go towards the construction of the international airport at Argyle.{{more}}

Chairman and chief executive officer of the International Airport Development Company (IADC) Dr Rudy Matthias shared this information during an interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday evening.

He said the figure of EC$101 million, which he had stated earlier this week as the total cash donations from foreign countries, was an error.

Matthias had been speaking on the “Views on Issues” interactive programme on NBC radio, on Sunday, when he said the donations totalled EC$101 million.

“The PM went around and solicited help from many friendly countries, and in my view, has had a lot of success in doing that,” Matthias said, as he spoke on radio.

When he spoke with SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday, Matthias listed the cash grants to the project as: EC$26.8 million/ US$10 million from Trinidad and Tobago; EC$53.7 million/US$20 million from the Republic of China on Taiwan; EC$7.02 million/US$2.6 million from the Caricom Development Fund; EC$4.7 million from Iran; EC$2.7 million from Libya; EC$1 million from Georgia; EC$500,000 from Austria.

He said all of this money was paid over by the goverment to the IADC.

“In any language, that is a substantial amount of money,” Matthias said.

He, however, stressed that this money does not include the donation of equipment, valued at US$10 million, received from Venezuela.

“We know that this is the value of the equipment, because they were all new equipment and they came with their invoices and their bills of lading and so on. We had to clear them from the port, so we know exactly how much the government of Venezuela paid for these 37 pieces of heavy earth-moving eqiupment that was sent to us between May and August 2008.”