|Davies says IDB loan for flood relief on fast track
|Monday, July 01, 2002
FINANCE minister, Dr Omar Davies has said his meetings last week with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on the issue of flood rehabilitation were "very successful and assurances were given by officials that Jamaica's request for emergency assistance would be put on a fast track, with a view to approving funds by July or August".
Davies, according a release last night from JIS News, said the need for the immediate rehabilitation of several parishes in the island affected by the May/June floods was a matter of "urgent priority, adding that the international financial institutions, with which he met, were apprised of the extreme difficulties being faced by sections of the Jamaican population.
In addition to officials from the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank, Davies also met with first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Anne Krueger, and the head of the fund's Western Hemisphere Department, Claudio M Loser.
A team from the IDB was in the island last week to have a first-hand look at damages caused by the flood, as the bank started processing Jamaica's application for US$20 million in emergency assistance.
Meanwhile, at the Caribbean Group for Cooperation in Economic Development (CGCED) meetings in Washington last month, director-general for the Planning Institute of Jamaica, Wesley Hughes, formally briefed participants, including the IMF, World Bank and the IDB, on current challenges facing Jamaica as a result of the heavy rains which affected the island.
In the aftermath of the devastation caused by the flood rains, Prime Minister P J Patterson declared five parishes as disaster areas and instructed Davies to apply for emergency funding from the IDB.
Up to early last week the finance ministry had disbursed $250 million to carry out flood-related reconstruction and rehabilitation for welfare, agricultural assistance, public health and road construction.