OFID signs loan agreement with Grenada and St Vincent for rural road projects

24.05.2017



Front, left: Miguel Linares, Acting Director, Latin America, Caribbean and Europe Region,
oversees the loan signature with HE Oliver Joseph, Minister of Economic Development, Trade & Planning.

May 24, 2017, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands. The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has signed two public sector agreements with Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines for two agricultural roads upgrading projects.

The signing ceremonies took place on the sidelines of the 47th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Caribbean Development Bank in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, and was overseen by Miguel Linares, Acting Director, Latin America, Caribbean and Europe Region, and Arij Senussi, Operations Officer in charge of Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines. OFID Director-General Suleiman J Al-Herbish had signed the agreements earlier on behalf of OFID.

The US$20m public sector loan agreement with Grenada helped finance the Agricultural Feeder Roads Project (Phase III). The project will upgrade 40km of roads and build five bridges in five parishes across the country. The agreement was co-signed by HE Oliver Joseph, Minister of Economic Development, Trade & Planning.

The parishes being targeted for road repair works include St George, St Andrews, St John, St Mark and St David, as well as in the island of Carriacou. On completion, the beneficiary population region will be able to enjoy improved links to social services and farming communities will have better connections with local markets, reducing the cost of marketing and transporting produce and receiving inputs. OFID had also co-financed the first two phases of the project.

OFID extended its first loan to Grenada in 1977. In all, OFID has approved a total of US$68.85m in public sector lending comprising debt relief and financing aimed at strengthening the country's transportation and education sectors. Grenada was also a beneficiary of a national grant drawn from the UNDP Energy Account.

The US$18.5m agreement with St Vincent and the Grenadines was co-signed by HE Camillo M Gonsalves, Minister of Economic Planning, Sustainable Development, Industry, Information and Labor for the Agricultural Feeder Roads Project.

The project will rehabilitate 25 sections of road on the main island of Saint Vincent, totaling around 43km, with a view to improving trade, boosting tourism and enhancing socioeconomic development. The cost of marketing and transporting produce is expected to lower, thus raising farmers’ incomes and encouraging the production of higher-value fruit and vegetables. In all, over 66,000 people are expected to benefit from the project.

OFID extended its first loan to St Vincent and the Grenadines in 1981 for debt relief. Subsequent approvals, including the newly-signed agreement, total US$21.02m in support of the country’s transportation and education sectors. The country was also the recipient of regional grants in the area of agricultural research.


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