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Grenada/WB Sign Agreements for US$34 Million to Support Social Program, Climate-Safe Infrastructure and Energy Service Delivery

Press release No: 2012/001/OECS

WASHINGTON, September 20, 2011Françoise Clottes, World Bank Director for the Caribbean, and the Hon. Nazim Burke, Grenada’s Minister of Finance, Planning, Economy, Energy and Cooperatives, signed today three agreements for a total of US$34 million in the form of grants and zero-interest credits. The projects seek to help Grenada strengthen its conditional cash transfer program, improve climate-safe infrastructure and contribute to better electricity service delivery.

The ceremony took place on the sidelines of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings, which officially start this Friday in Washington, DC and convene Ministers of Finance from around the world.

These three projects go to the heart of the development challenges that we face as small countries,” said Minister Burke during the signing ceremony. Burke cited the issue of Grenada as a small island economy dealing with the challenges of climate change and climate resilience. He also alluded to the Safety Net Advancement Project (SNAP), how it addresses the poverty reduction issue that has been a commitment of the government, and how this project seeks to rationalize resources in a way that more people can benefit.

Lastly, Burke mentioned that energy constitutes one of the greatest challenges for Grenada’s economy. “High energy costs have strong implications for production and consumers, impacting their disposable income, and we believe the ECERA project will go a long way towards reducing the cost of electricity in the long-run,” he added.

Conditional Cash Transfers

The Grenada Safety Net Advancement Project will benefit 8,000 poor families receiving cash transfers provided children go to school and to health check-ups. The project will finance a plan to strengthen the newly consolidated conditional cash transfer program and the capacity of the Ministry of Social Development to implement it. The US$5 million zero-interest credit from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) repayable in 40 years, including a 10-year grace period, was originally approved by the Bank’s Board of Directors on July 5, 2011.

Climate-Safe Infrastructure

The Regional Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project will help Grenada to improve the safety of its buildings from the impacts of climate change and increase the country’s public institutions’ capacity to assess natural risks. The project will reduce the economic losses due to weak infrastructure, and the risk of loss of life by retrofitting or rebuilding vulnerable structures. Buildings, bridges and urban drainage, for example, are prone to a high-risk of structural failure due to hurricanes, earthquakes and floods.

Grenada will receive a total of US$26.2 million, including a US$10 million zero-interest IDA credit repayable in 35 years with a 10-year grace period; an US$8 million grant from the Caribbean Regional Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR); and an US$8.2 million zero-interest PPCR loan repayable in 40 years with a 10-year grace period. The project was approved by the Bank’s Board of Directors on June 23, 2011.

Energy Service Delivery

The Eastern Caribbean Energy Regulatory Authority Program will assist Grenada with the establishment of the Eastern Caribbean Energy Regulatory Authority (ECERA). As a regional entity, ECERA will improve electricity service delivery and diversify sources of energy generation, including renewables, benefiting electricity consumers across the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries. The US$2.8 million zero-interest IDA credit is repayable in 35 years, including a 10-year grace period.

We are extremely happy to support Grenada with the substantial act of leadership that these projects imply for the Caribbean in general,” said Clottes. “Starting with disaster prevention, which is the most cost-effective way of engaging in disaster issues, to social protection, which is the needed safety net to face today’s global fiscal challenges. In addition, with the ECERA project, Grenada is betting on the future of joint Caribbean regulation in the electricity sector and the development of renewable energies,” she added.

Clottes closed the ceremony by saying that “These are projects looking to address the vulnerabilities of today, and taking a step forward in mitigation in a manner that frankly we hope can be emulated across the Caribbean.”

Contacts:
In Washington: Melanie Zipperer, (202) 458-2902, mzipperer@worldbank.org 
Patricia da Camara (202) 473-4019, pdacamara@worldbank.org 


For more information on these projects, please visit:
http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/LACEXT/OECSEXTN/0,,contentMDK:22955805~menuPK:339300~pagePK:2865066~piPK:2865079~theSitePK:339287,00.html 

http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/LACEXT/OECSEXTN/0,,contentMDK:22948289~menuPK:339300~pagePK:2865066~piPK:2865079~theSitePK:339287,00.html 

http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/0,,contentMDK:22942934~pagePK:64257043~piPK:437376~theSitePK:4607,00.html 

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