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CDB holding high-level meetings in SVG this week

CDB holding high-level meetings in SVG this week

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Officials from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) are in St Vincent and the Grenadines for the hosting of the First Formal Negotiation Meeting for the replenishment of the Bank’s Special Development Fund (Unified) [(SDF(U)]. The replenishment process is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

The SDF(U) Negotiation Meeting takes place at The Beachcombers Hotel {{more}}from Thursday, March 10, 2016. It will follow meetings of CDB’s board of directors, which began yesterday and will conclude tomorrow, March 9.

CDB expects more than 70 attendees at the Negotiation Meeting, during which Bank officials will hold discussions with current and prospective contributors to the Fund.

“We are pleased to be opening negotiations to replenish the SDF(U) in St Vincent, a beneficiary of the Fund. The SDF(U) is one of CDB’s most vital sources of funding that helps meet the Caribbean region’s high-priority development needs. We look forward to sharing with our partners the progress our Borrowing Member Countries are making through the Fund, and to putting a spotlight on new opportunities to invest in the future of women, men and children in our most vulnerable communities,” said Yvette Lemonias-Seale, vice-president (Corporate Services) and Bank secretary, CDB, who has oversight of the meetings.

The SDF(U) is the Bank’s largest pool of concessionary funds, which are used to address poverty and human development challenges throughout the Caribbean region.

Contributions to the Fund come from all member countries of CDB, as well as non-members. The SDF(U) has a four-year replenishment cycle. The current cycle, the Fund’s eighth, covers the period 2013 to 2016. From 1970 to the end of 2015, SDF(U) contributors had approved USD 95.6 m in loans and USD 16.8 m in grants for St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The event schedule also includes field visits on March 11, during which meeting participants will experience firsthand some of the projects CDB has funded with SDF(U) resources in SVG.

Stops will include Fairhall Government School; the New Grounds, Adelphi and Chapmans Adult Literacy Coordinating Group (NACALCOG); St Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua; and the Women in Agriculture Langley Cooperative.

In addition to these projects, recent SDF(U) investments in St Vincent and the Grenadines include: construction of the Port Elizabeth Clinic and upgrade of the Bequia Hospital; rehabilitation and reconstruction of critical infrastructure damaged by the torrential rainfall events in 2013 and 2014; and the upgrading and building of schools and early childhood education centres across the country, and training for officers in the Ministry of Education, principals and teachers under the Second Basic Education Project.

SDF(U) resources also finance the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), CDB’s flagship poverty reduction programme. BNTF continues to make a difference in meeting the basic needs of the poor in 10 countries, including St Vincent and the Grenadines. In 2015, initiatives in St Vincent and the Grenadines totalling USD 1.6 m were approved for funding under BNTF, spanning areas such as education, health, infrastructure and skills training.

“We appreciate the tremendous support of the Government and people of St Vincent and the Grenadines in planning and coordinating the upcoming events, and look forward to successful outcomes from the meetings,” said Lemonias-Seale.

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