World Bank gives Grenada US$5M loan for poor

The World Bank Board of Directors has approved a US$5M loan to help Grenada to strengthen its conditional cash transfer programme and protect its poor citizens from a further decline in living standards.

According to a press release the zero-interest credit will help the country to improve coverage of poor households receiving cash transfers provided that children go to school and get health check-ups. “Grenada’s safety net includes three targeted cash transfer initiatives which will be consolidated into a comprehensive conditional cash transfer (CCT) programme,” Minister of Finance, Planning, Economy and Energy and Cooperatives Nazim Burke said.

He said the country welcomes the World Bank’s support for its reforms in the area of social protection in the light of its “long track record of designing effective CCT programs that have achieved good results in several countries.” Burke said he expects that the combination of new financing and knowledge provided by the Bank will boost the programme.

According to the release, the combined effects of lower levels of tourism revenues and transfers from abroad including foreign direct investment and remittances has seen a rise in prices for food and fuel. Natural disasters have also reduced purchasing power among the poor and have raised unemployment levels.

“New financing will strengthen safety nets in order to prevent potential declines in living standards while maintaining investments by providing financial support to families most in need,” World Bank Director for the Caribbean Francoise Clottes said.

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