News Americas Now, New York, NY, Monday, January 19, 2015-The Government of Saint Lucia received four checks from the Republic of China (Taiwan) on Friday, representing grant funding of approximately EC$9.3 million (US$3.5 million) towards three ongoing national projects.
The checks were handed over to Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Planning & Social Security, Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony by the Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), His Excellency, James Chang.
Beneficiary projects for this disbursement include the Constituency Development Programme, the St. Jude Hospital Reconstruction Project and the Sustainable Energy Programme. Prime Minister Anthony explained how the monies are being allocated:
“Two checks will go towards ongoing work to realise the completion of the St. Jude Hospital. The last tranche of funds, totaling a little over EC$1 million, [is being provided today] for the purchase of radiological equipment. This balance comes out of funding earmarked in 2012. Another cheque represents monies earmarked from the original support from Taiwan, approved in the year 2010. This amount is in the region of EC$740,000.
“Another cheque, upwards of EC$1.6 million, [was] received this morning for the ongoing sustainable energy initiative of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Science and Technology. This project was envisaged as a $6.7 million project, spread over three years, and started in financial year 2013-2014. To date, this has been the second disbursement for this project, bringing total disbursement for the sustainable energy project to approximately $2.4 million, or about 35 per cent of the total approved funding. The project hopes to ramp up on its deliverables in the coming months, with the commencement of a number of retrofitting projects and solar electric generating systems aimed at reducing Government’s energy bill.
“Finally, the last beneficiary project, which is the largest this morning, is for the completion of the Constituency Development Programme for the financial year 2014-2015. This represents approximately EC$5.9 million. This means this initiative has received all of its funding for the year, a total of $18 million. This program, as you already know, is important to this Government in two ways. It provides infrastructure at the community level, often changing the condition of living for those who are most in need. This is spread across all constituencies, bar none. And secondly, it provides employment in every part of the island, particularly through small contractors.
The Prime Minister told Ambassador Chang that “Saint Lucia remains deeply grateful to the Republic of China (Taiwan) for its continued partnership in the development of our country.”
For his part, Ambassador Chang expressed his delight that more Saint Lucians would be able to benefit from the cooperation between these two Governments. He said that the completion of the programs “will set another good example to benefit the people, and further strengthen our existing cordial relationships.”