Chairman of the CDF, Alvin Hilaire

October 2015 – (Bridgetown, Barbados): THE CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) is well positioned for its Second Funding Cycle 2015 to 2020 after establishing a solid base during its first cycle and an in-depth review of its operations.


Word of this came from Chairman of the CDF Board of Directors, Dr. Alvin Hilaire, as he addressed the Fund’s Fifth Annual Meeting of Contributors and Development Partners held recently.


“The past year has represented another productive and demanding episode for the CDF. Projects were accelerated in existing as well as new areas, Country Assistance Programmes (CAPs) were extended to include all beneficiary countries, improvements were made in streamlining internal governance and a solid base was established for the second cycle of operations.



“The Board and Management of the CDF have continued to review operational procedures to ensure the greatest level of efficiency, transparency and accountability to our stakeholders and activities to further streamline internal operations included strengthening of controls in the areas of governance, human resources, finance and information technology,” Hilaire explained.


He added that for the second cycle and beyond, consideration is being given to utilising trust funds, providing financing for more energy-efficient activities and cross-country programmes and offering grants to subsidise interest payments on large value project loans from other sources.  



“In carrying out its role the CDF is well placed to act as an efficient conduit for development assistance from extra regional partners to support clearly defined and high value projects,” Hilaire noted.


Speaking specifically to the achievements over the past year, the CDF Chair highlighted the decision by Montserrat to join the CDF and the recent approval to provide US$55,000 to the Government of Dominica to assist with the financing of emergency clean-up operations at the Douglas-Charles Airport and to support small and medium sized enterprises that were adversely impacted by Tropical Storm Erika.


He added: “Another important development involved the finalization of the first joint programme by the CDF in collaboration with one of its development partners, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to co-finance the cost of a key connector bridge on the Philip S.W. Goldson Highway Upgrading Project in Belize, along with the signing of a CAP with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda.”


Hilaire went on to pay tribute to supporters of the CDF stating that the macroeconomic situation in the Caribbean remains delicate with existing fiscal and balance of payments difficulties limiting the space for manoeuvring in many countries, among other factors.


“Nonetheless, it is a tribute to CARICOM Member states that despite their individual economic problems, they have demonstrated a clear understanding of the interdependent nature of the Community and the need to draw even closer together to support regional partners.


“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Governments of CDF Member States and external donors for their consistent support that has brought the CDF this far and for their commitments under the Second Funding Cycle, particularly given the uncertain global and regional economic outlook.  A special measure of gratitude must be reserved for the CDF’s host government, Barbados, for its unwavering tangible support over the last six years,” Hilaire stated.




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