The challenges between the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the British Virgin Islands have been ironed out and business between the two is now expected to run more smoothly.
This is because of a ‘courtesy call’ CDB President Dr William Warren Smith made to the BVI late last week.
“We are satisfied that during the course of this visit we were able to identify the difficult areas and we are pretty confident that we’ll be able to move forward with a [quicker] pace following this visit,” Dr Smith said after meeting with a number of local officials.
Communication challenge cause delay
The CDB had approved a $65 million reconstruction and redevelopment loan for the BVI nearly a year ago but no monies have been released to the BVI because the funds have been tied up in accountability procedures.
Speaking with local media recently, Dr Smith said the duration of those procedures did not have to be as protracted as they have become.
He blamed the delay on a “communication challenge” between the bank and the BVI.
“In other words, I don’t think that we have been sufficiently engaging when we run into a problem so what has happened is that we find ourselves in a position where there is something that needs to be fixed and it waits too long until the perfect solution can be arrived at whereas, if we had acted more proactively, we could have resolved the problem and moved on,” he explained, adding that the CDB is ‘very anxious’ to release the monies so the BVI can begin its redevelopment projects.
“That’s the business we are in and it’s our desire to work as effectively and efficiently as we can with our clients,” he said.
During his BVI visit, the CDB boss met with the Recovery & Development Agency, Governor Augustus Jaspert, Premier Dr D Orlando Smith, and the Finance Ministry. All concerns have now been resolved, the CDB boss said.
Just last month, the CDB came under criticism from Minister of Education, Myron Walwyn, for not releasing the funds needed for territorial rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Projects to be funded by the bank’s $65 million loan will include road rehabilitation works, construction of schools and coastal defences, improvement of water and sewerage facilities, among other things.
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