St. Vincent and the Grenadines
SVG New airport by December
The Argyle International airport is expected to be ready for operation by the end of 2015. According to reports from media houses that visited the site recently, the airport is in its final stages of constructions.
The newly built airport has a capacity of 800 passengers and it is expected to accommodate up to 1.5 million passengers per year; more than five times the capacity of the existing E.T. Joshua Airport.
Officials have clamored for years for a new airport to be built on the island, but the island’s mountainous topography, rainforests and active volcanoes made the undertaking of this project very slow and meticulous.
In a breakfast meeting held to update the media on the progress of the project, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves explained that “Building the airport involved the astounding removal of three mountains, 134 homes, a church, a cemetery and the filling of two valleys,” but he levied praises on members of the international community, mainly Cuba, Venezuela and Taiwan, for their contribution to the project.
The airport will now offer direct jet service from North, Central and South America as well as Europe and is expected to contribute significantly to tourism growth on the island.
The US$240 million investment is said to be the largest development project ever undertaken in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
IMF Team in Dominica
Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerritt has announced that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has sent a team to the island to assist the government in developing macro-economic policies in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Erika. Damages on the island are estimated at EC$1.298 billion (CAN$ 624 million).
According to Skerritt, the IMF will help the government prepare a developmental plan that will take into account the significant investment that has to be made in order to rebuild the island.
The Dominican Government has so far received EC$13.02 million from the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and the National Bank of Dominica to help with its relief program.
No less than 890 homes were destroyed or are now deemed uninhabitable in the aftermath of Erika. It is estimated to cost upwards of EC$91 million to provide homes for the families who have been displaced.
Venezuela has donated 300 houses to the island and the government is now seeking donors who can assist the island in developing a long-term housing solution for the affected persons.
The August 27th storm killed more than 30 people.
British fund for the C’bean
Britain has pledged to develop a 300millon pounds Caribbean development fund that will provide financing for infrastructure and projects such as roads and bridges in the Caribbean.
After holding bilateral talks with Prime Minister Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, British Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I believe this money could help to unleash trade across the region with new roads, new bridges, and new port infrastructure to help speed up freight movements,” he said following bilateral talks with Prime Minister in Jamaica.”
This is the second fund that Britain has pledge to give money to in recent weeks. The British Government has also pledge US$ 9 billion for climate-change financing over the next five year. Prime Minister Cameron ensured his Jamaican counterparts that they will be getting a share of this fund to address climate change issues that are currently plaguing them.