Caribbean infrastructure schemes invited to bid for British funds

14 Mar 16

A UK-backed Caribbean infrastructure investment scheme became operational last week, offering £300m worth of grants for infrastructure across the region until March 2020.

A road in Jamaica
 
The fund was announced by prime minister David Cameron last September as his first visit to Jamaica in 14 years began with calls for Britain to pay billions of pounds in reparations for its role in the slave trade. 
 
The funds, announced in the first leg of his two-day visit, will be delivered by the UK’s Department for International Development and support the construction of vital new infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, in hopes of driving economic growth and development across the region. 
 

Warren Smith, president of the Caribbean Development Bank, which will partner with DFID to implement the programme, welcomed the funds. 

“Beneficiary countries will be able to use this funding to revisit essential large scale projects that have been shelved because of the constrained fiscal space and severe indebtedness of many of [the region’s] countries,” he stated. 

Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the UK’s overseas territory of Montserrat will benefit from the programme, which runs from January 2016 to March 2020. 

It is expected that the successful completion of projects will result in employment opportunities, improvements in livelihoods, poverty reduction, increased resilience to climate change and positive policy action throughout the region. 

The funding will be drawn from the UK’s existing aid budget, with the target countries all being classified as eligible for Official Development Assistance.

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