Brades, Montserrat – President of the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank, (CDB), Dr Gene Leon has ended a visit to Monstserrat reassuring the authorities on the British Overseas Territory of the bank’s support and commitment to finding innovative solutions.
“Supporting the resilience agenda of our Borrowing Member Countries (BMC) is a significant area of focus for us at CDB. It has to be. Our BMCs face unique challenges as small countries with high vulnerability to climate change and natural and environmental hazards.
He affirmed the CDB’s commitment to supporting the development and resilience agendas of Montserrat, both through financing and through advancing solutions such as the financial institution’s Recovery Duration Adjuster (RDA) mechanism which specifically address the needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
During his visit, Leon held talks with Premier Joseph Farrell, who was accompanied by a high-level delegation, including the island’s Financial Secretary Lindorna Lambert and Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Premier, Daphne Cassell.
A CDB statement issued afterwards said that the discussions focused on the government’s economic objectives and priorities and how CDB can support through its assistance and lending programmes.
It said that the CDB delegation also had the opportunity to tour several projects that have been funded by the bank, particularly through its Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF).
These included the Old Salem Primary School which is to be refurbished and renovated into a community centre under the BNTF programme, various road projects and the Davy Hill Community Centre.
Montserrat is one of the founding members of CDB, having joined in 1970. In 2017, the Bank approved £14.4 million in grant funding for the Little Bay Port Development project, one of the largest projects in recent history in the country.
The project, which was launched in 2019, is funded by the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Fund (UKCIF) which is administered by CDB.
Once completed, the new port will be able to accommodate larger cruise ships and hence more cruise passengers. The project also includes new cargo handling equipment for the Montserrat Port Authority and capacity building opportunities. (CMC)