Oh Gawd, this is freaking hilarious!
The #1 government mouthpiece, The Barbados Advocate, does an entire article about the recent Inter-American Development Bank loan of US$200 million to Barbados and doesn’t once mention that it is a loan to be repaid. A loan that plunges the country further in debt.
Listen friends: I’m not debating whether we need it, should have taken it, whether it will be accounted for or properly spent…
I’m talking about the freaking Barbados News Media going through all sorts of linguistic athletics to avoid mentioning that this is debt.
Read the Barbados Advocate article. This is FREE MONEY, maybe grants. That’s the impression.
Go to The Barbados Advocate and read it online (link here)
But in case they remove the article like they usually do when they are caught, here it is in full.
BARBADOS is getting $400 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) between now and 2013 to spend on coastal management, water, energy and education projects.
The island will also be able to access further funds for energy programmes and those dealing with water management from the international financial institution Prime Minister David Thompson announced this yesterday and the IDB’s Barbados representative, Anneke Jessen, during a Press briefing at Government Headquarters, Bay Street, St. Michael, at which Thompson disclosed that the board of the bank approved its 2009-2013 country strategy with Barbados.
Of the $400 million (US$200 million) approved, Jessen told the media that approximately $100 million will be spent on the water sector, between $60 million and $80 million on coastal improvements, $80 million to $100 million on energy, and $80 million to $100 million on education ventures.
The IDB’s previous country strategy with Barbados, which has not yet been completed, was about $128 million (US$64 million), but the organisation’s “current portfolio” here is some $280 million.
Additionally, Jessen said the island could benefit from “substantial grant funds” the IDB was making available to member countries focusing on energy and water management programmes.
Thompson, who is also Minister of Finance, said Government had decided to focus on coastal zone management and climate change adaptation; water and sanitation; energy and education in its new strategy, given the importance of these areas to the country.
“From my perspective, the country strategy identifies not simply the priorities of a Democratic Labour Party government. I think the strategies are, in fact, strategies that any government in Barbados would want to identify as being critical,” he said.
The Prime Minister said as part of the new strategy, the IDB would support government’s efforts “to build resilience to coastal risk by strengthening co-ordination across the different sectors that influence the health of the coastal zone, including water and sanitation; construction and agriculture; improving mechanisms to assess and manage risks through better data collection and cost recovery; improving disaster risk prevention; and developing a programme of shoreline stabilisation and marine zoning.
In the case of water and sanitation, he noted, the bank “will support government’s efforts to achieve more efficient water supply and resource management by focusing on improving the operational efficiency of the Barbados Water Authority and its programme to reduce production costs and water losses, as well as preparing a comprehensive wastewater treatment action plan”.
A large water and sanitation systems upgrade programme was expected to be approved before the end of the year, he stated.
Thompson said too that in terms of plans relating to energy, Barbados would get IDB funds to define a new sector strategy aimed at promoting clean energy and increasing energy efficiency.
“The Bank already approved several grant projects this year to help assess the country’s current energy balance, explore its renewable and bioenergy potential and develop energy efficiency policies for the public and private sector, including the island’s hotel industry,” he stated.
As far as education was concerned, the Prime Minister said the Washington D.C. institution, through lending and technical assistance, “will enhance planning and data collection; improve the quality of primary and secondary education; and promote stronger links between the education system and the labour market, strengthening school-to-work transition through technical and vocational training.
Jessen said the priorities identified by Government were in sync with the thinking of the IDB.
“We think that all four areas … are crucial for the competitiveness of the Barbadian economy and we will be happy to support the government with institutional strengthening, policy reforms and infrastructure developments in these areas. We think that this strategy builds very much on the past strategy, where we focussed on public sector modernisation,” she noted.
“The past strategy had a smaller programme because infrastructure was not involved. We believe that in this current programme, which is larger than the past programme, there will be infrastructure needs and also financing for policy reforms.” (SC)