The new Chairman of the Caricom Development Fund (CDF) Dr Bernard LaCorbiniere says the Fund is now capitalised at US$82 million, in his report at the recent Conference of the Caribbean Community Heads.
In his address, Dr LaCorbiniere thanked the leaders for the confidence reposed in him and pledged to conduct his responsibilities with “the fairness, prudence, and professionalism expected by the Member States and taxpayers of the Caribbean Community” and development partners.
According to a press release he also spoke of the strategic direction of the CDF which was undertaken by an independent consultant, former Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur. The Review concluded that, “the Agreement, procedures and programming approach being adopted by the CDF, comply with the Community decisions to bring the CDF into existence.” It also said the approach taken by the CDF is largely designed to give effect to a pragmatic and carefully balanced relationship between resources available to the Fund and the needs it will be required to meet. The Caricom Community Council, at a meeting prior to the Conference of Heads, endorsed the consultant’s report.
Dr LaCorbinere noted that all member states have contributed to the CDF and Barbados had paid in full. Five member states still have payments outstanding. The chairman also said that despite the challenging global environment, the CDF was aggressively seeking external funding and would soon engage in negotiations with the government of Brazil in support of the CDF.
Dr LaCorbiniere also thanked Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson for his commitment and support as the lead Prime Minister of the CDF Resource Mobilisation Task Force. He also wished him a speedy recovery from his present illness.
According to the release Dr LaCorbiniere was appointed Chairman of the CDF by the Fourteenth Meeting of the council for Finance and Planning in March 2010. He succeeds Dr Shelton Nicholls who resigned from the post in July 2009 in the face of pressing commitments within the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago where he serves as one of the Deputy Governors.