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Development Bank, Director of Projects, Daniel Best.

Best discusses disbursements

A record US$280 million in project funding was disbursed by the Caribbean Development Bank to its borrowing member countries (BMCs) in 2018, a 20 per cent increase compared to 2017.Addressing the facility’s annual media conference, Director of Projects Daniel Best attributed the significant improvement to two factors: continued investment in the training of public officers to assist BMCs to implement projects faster and the Bank’s ongoing review of its policies and procedures to improve its responsiveness.

Giving a synopsis to several of the projects under progress or completed last year, including the construction of roads, he also stated, “We made our roads safer, and supported the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in BMCs hardest hit by the 2017 Hurricane Season.”

“We approved a loan of US$40.4 million to upgrade infrastructure and services at the Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados. This project will improve the quality of infrastructure; enhance institutional capacity; and reduce energy consumption from existing pavement lighting at the airport,” he added.

Speaking on the success of a road project in Belize, he noted this had reduced road fatalities from an average of 33 per year to less than eight per year.

In the area of education, the director highlighted almost 1 500 principals, teachers and instructors have been trained through the bank’s support of the implementation of the CARICOM Human Resource Development Strategy.

“Now educators across the region are better equipped to deliver technical and vocational education and training, special needs education, competency-based education and training, psychosocial services, and health and family life education,” he stated.

As to the bank’s plans for 2019, Best said, “The bank will continue to deliver on our commitment to fast-track the implementation of projects, by placing greater emphasis on supervision. We anticipate that this will be enhanced by the nearly 3 500 public officers who benefitted from the training in Public Policy Analysis and Management and Project Cycle Management programmes in our BMCs.”

Other plans include the upgrade and expansion of the electricity program in Suriname; an upgrade of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and to meet Special Education Needs in St. Lucia; and the enhancement of TVET in Haiti.

“Through grant resources from the UK’s Caribbean Infrastructure Fund, technical assistance is underway to prepare a number of projects for financing. These include the proposed upgrading of the Philip S. W. Goldson Highway in Belize; the Loubiere to Bagatelle Road in Dominica; and the Western Road Corridor in Grenada. A water upgrading project in Grenada and the construction of a new port in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines are also proposed. These projects will amount to some US$96 million,” he added. (JMB)

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