August 8, 2014

Government secures more than EC$200 million in grants, loans and assistance

Since the passage of two trough systems over St Vincent in December last year, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said that his government has been able to secure more than 200 million Eastern Caribbean dollars.{{more}}

At a press conference on Monday, Gonsalves said that grants, loans, and assistance from a number of countries, as well as regional and international organizations total in excess of $230 million.

This, he described as a remarkable story.

“That means that the relevant public servants have responded well working and the political leadership have been providing a guidance and support the inspiration and the drawing out of the people whom you are leading….”

The Prime Minister started the count with the 104 million dollars that he said was from the World Bank and the International Development Association, $25 million of which he announced were grants.

He also calculated $24 million, recently approved by the European Union, which he said was post disaster relief.

Another $25 million in soft loans was attributed to the Caribbean Development Bank, and an additional $17 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“Petro Caribe, just over 10 million dollars. We are using the Petro Caribe money to pay for the building materials which we credited from Tank Weld and locally. Remember we credited just over 10 million dollars. So, the Petro Caribe money is paying for that on a monthly basis.

“Then, as you know, I negotiated with Mustique Company to get four years revenues in advance, which is 10.8 million EC dollars….”

According to the Prime Minister, $11.3 million is attributed to the four bridges that are to be constructed through Ecuador, while a portion of eight million from the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines will go towards the construction of the bridge in Caratal, Georgetown.

“If you check up those eight items… you will see that you get 210.1 million dollars, so don’t think that I am drawing these figures out of the air.”

Gonsalves went on to list a number of smaller amounts, which he said brought the number up by another nine million.

“We’ve gotten $540,000 plus a further one million to do a project. Haiti gave 2.7 million dollars…. Mexico gave 1.35 million… St Kitts one million EC, and the Mustique Charitable Trust a million dollars.”

Other countries that the Prime Minister said made contributions in cash and in kind and gave “bits and pieces” include Turkey, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, India and Trinidad and Tobago, among others.(JJ)