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Dominica seeking US$100-m agreement with World Bank

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

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ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) — Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said Tuesday he is negotiating with the World Bank for US$100 million in loans and grants to help the island undertake recovery work following the passage of Hurricane Maria last week.

Speaking at the daily news briefing, Skerrit said that the Washington-based financial institution has already agreed to US$64 million in loans and grants “and I am negotiating for them to take it to US$100 million.

“They have asked me to come to Washington to further negotiate this package. I told them I would come if they will take it to 100 million, so we are trying to push them to take it to US$100 million in a combination of grants and loans,” Skerrit told reporters.

He said that the island had received US$19 million from the Catastrophic Risk Insurance Policy and deposited at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and that a number of governments and agencies have been making commitments since the hurricane struck the island last Monday.

He sought to reassure citizens that food supplies were being received and would be distributed throughout the island as he urged people with transportation to assist in getting the supplies to needy communities.

Skerrit said he was sending a letter to the University of the West Indies urging that it does not take any action that would hamper the Dominican students there from continuing to pursue their education.

“We will make arrangements to keep our commitments to the University of the West Indies. We are also informing the universities, especially in the United States, where we have large number of students to indicate to them that once the financial system is up we will keep our commitments to our students so they can be at school.

“So I want all the students who are universities, who have commitment letters from the government, do not let your heart be troubled, we will keep our commitments to you so you can continue your education and our hope and prayer is that you come back to your country to help the country once you have completed your studies,” Skerrit said.

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