THE Government of Saint Lucia yesterday received the second tranche of funds earmarked for this financial year’s Constituency Development Programme (CDP) from the Republic of China (Taiwan) .
Taiwan’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia, James Chang, presented the cheque totalling EC$5, 417, 054.97 (US$2, 015, 123) to Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony during a brief presentation held in the Office of the Prime Minister.
Taiwan’s first tranche for the 2014-2015 financial year’s CDP was presented to the Saint Lucia government on August 4 this year and totalled EC$6, 616, 227 (US$2, 477, 988). The total amount Taiwan has pledged to the CDP for the 2014-2015 period is EC$18 million (US$6.7 million) and the third and final tranche is expected in the coming weeks.
Ambassador Chang explained that the previous phases of the CDP (2012 and 2013) covered 231 completed projects. He added that an additional 92 projects were completed within the first phase of 2014, with another 52 projects slated for the second stage.
“The number of projects completed since 2012 will then reach to 375,” Ambassador Chang said yesterday. “The works include construction of flood mitigation (measures), drainage, soil stabilization, pedestrian footpaths and community access roads.”
Ambassador Chang said his embassy was satisfied that the projects undertaken thus far under the CDP had impacted the lives of residents in communities across the island in a meaningful way. He noted that through such initiatives, Taiwan’s commitment to the overall development of Saint Lucia made a clear statement about the diplomatic ties shared between the countries.
“It is my firm belief that through our joint efforts on the Constituency Development Programme, that it will continue to bring benefits to the people and strengthen our existing cordial relations,” Ambassador Chang said.
The Prime Minister said the projects undertaken under the CDP were spread across all 17 of the island’s constituencies. Most of the projects, Dr. Anthony added, were driven at improving access for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic as well as roadside drainage. Dr. Anthony said the development of the island’s infrastructure had improved, leading to an improved level of comfort for constituents.
“Many people would not have a decent access to their homes were it not for this programme,” Dr. Anthony said yesterday. “It is changing communities, changing the quality of life for families far and wide. Furthermore, as we approach year-end, these projects are indispensable at bringing Christmas cheer to Saint Lucians – both in the deliverables afforded in the communities and in the employment generated as well.”
Dr. Anthony expressed gratitude for Taiwan’s continued commitment to Saint Lucia, adding that government was “indeed satisfied by the impact of this project and (was) gratified by the contribution of the Republic of China (Taiwan)” to Saint Lucia.
Accountant-General, Adria Sonson, was on hand to receive the cheque which goes to the Consolidated Fund.