Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell says that Grenada already has proposals to submit to the UK, so that it can benefit from the £300 million that UK Prime Minister announced will be made available as grant aid to the Caribbean during the next 5 years.
“We already have about five proposals ready to submit. Government House as you know is there waiting,” he said, as he welcomed the news that millions in grants will be made available.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron paid a one-day visit to Grenada on Wednesday, where he addressed the Cabinet and engaged in a tour of the town of Gouyave, which gave him the opportunity to visit the area where a bridge recently collapse and tour the nutmeg processing plant. PM Cameron also laid a wreath at Cenotaph at the Botanical Gardens for fallen soldiers. He was preceded by PM Mitchell and leading the charge was Governor-General of Grenada, Dame Cécile La Grenade.
A news release from the British Embassy said that during the visit to the Caribbean, Prime Minister David Cameron, accompanied by International Development Secretary Justine Greening, announced the quadrupling of UK support to the region.
While in Grenada Prime Minister Cameron and Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell saw the long term after-effects of natural disasters; visited the sole remaining nutmeg processing plant after Hurricane Ivan hit the country and viewed a bridge which had also been severely damaged by the hurricane and subsequent tropical storms. This bridge is already earmarked for DFID/World Bank support but it demonstrates the kind of project that could benefit from the new UK-Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund.
In his subsequent meeting with Dr Mitchell and his Cabinet, PM Cameron stressed the continuity of links between the UK and the Caribbean. “I’m delighted to be making my first visit as Prime Minister to the Caribbean, indeed the first bilateral visit by a British Prime Minister for fourteen years. I’m coming with one clear and simple message — we would both benefit from a stronger and deeper relationship,” the release quotes Cameron as saying.
“We want to help the Caribbean on their path of development — supporting economic growth and creating new opportunities for people living here. I believe that Britain can help the Caribbean countries on their path of development — lifting people out of poverty, increasing economic growth, trade and security, and creating opportunities for young generations. That’s in your interest but it’s firmly in our interest too,” he said.
“Our relationship should be based on the countries we are today and the opportunities we can generate together, rather than over-relying on the historical ties of the past.
“Britain wants to be your partner for the future, your partner of choice and I hope my visit can be the start of that.”
International Development Secretary, Justine Greening, said, “Too many Caribbean countries are held back because they remain vulnerable to severe economic or climate shocks. With some of the highest energy costs in the world, it is difficult for businesses to compete in global markets, leading to decades of slow or declining growth.
“Britain’s close relationship with the Caribbean and our new support will help boost growth and kick-start economic recovery across the region as well as creating important trade and investment opportunities for the UK.”
Also announced was a doubling of UK Chevening Scholarships for the Caribbean and enhanced support in the fight against serious and organised crime in the region.
Cameron announcement of £360m in grant funding will be targeted at ODA-eligible countries and includes (but is not limited to): £300m for the establishment of a UK Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund; £30m to improve the disaster and climate resilience of health facilities and £30m for economic development to support private sector development and to improve public sector effectiveness.