SVG received the largest disbursement in 2019 – CDB project director
ST VINCENT AND THE Grenadines, in 2019, received the largest disbursement from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for capital projects and technical assistance.
Daniel Best, the Director of Projects told SEARCHLIGHT this week, that this country is one of the bank’s more “robust portfolios”, given the number of CDB funded projects being undertaken currently.
“…in 2019, we actually disbursed approximately US$33 million to St Vincent which was the largest disbursement to a borrowing member country in the absence of a policy based loan,” Best said. “So on our capital projects and technical assistance, St Vincent actually received the highest amount of disbursements from the Caribbean Development Bank ,so we have a great relationship with St Vincent and the Grenadines.”
Projects funded by CDB include the Port Modernisation project, Sandy Bay Coast Resilience project, as well as projects under the Basic Needs Trust Fund, as well as projects for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
Best described the projects as exciting, and said that the Bank was working with the government to help advance the process.
He noted that there were some implementation challenges in most, if not all, CDB’s borrowing member countries.
And in the specific case of SVG, they were working along with the Ministry of Works to address these challenges and provide support needed to advance the projects.
“As I mentioned, because of the size of the portfolio there, we are actually seeking to put additional personnel resources in country to help drive
the implementation process,” Best said.
The Director of Projects also said that the Port Modernisation project was the largest capital project ever approved in the history of the Bank, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
This project has approved funding of US$110 million from the CDB, a GBP 25.6 million (about US$32 million) grant from the CDB-administered United Kingdom Infrastructure Fund, and a US$43 million contribution from the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Best said as a result, additional project management resources to support this country will definitely be needed to drive implementation.
While outlining the lengthy process, Bess said that one of the underlying challenges for many borrowing member countries is the procurement process.
“That is the area we are seeking to support our borrowing member countries, by assisting in providing support during the evaluation process. We can’t actually do the evaluation, but we can certainly provide some guidance and advice during that process,” he said.