The grant to the twin-island federation comes as part of a larger European Union assistance package to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, amounting to some Euro 130 million or US$162.7 million.
The multi-million dollar donation to St. Kitts & Nevis is to fund the government’s programme to build a new prison for persons being held on remand, psychiatric prisoners and repeat offenders. Part of the grant is earmarked for the renovation of a number of police stations and coast guard facilities while also upgrading the fleet of the Ministry of National Security.
According to the Barbados-based European Union Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, the EU provided the grant to St. Kitts and Nevis last year Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Mrs. Hilary Hazel, confirmed the EU report on Monday, indicating that the EU support referenced in the article represents money allocated to SKN under the 10th European Development Fund (ECF) Programme.
“We have to sign a Financing Agreement which we are still awaiting. Therefore we have not received the funds to date,” said Mrs. Hazel.
According to Ambassador Valeriano Diaz, Head of the European Union Delegation, to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, the EURO 130.2 million (US$162.7 million) “clearly demonstrates the continued commitment by the European Union to supporting the Caribbean States, especially in these difficult times of a sustained financial and economic crisis and natural disasters like Hurricane Tomas.
The EU said that the funds contributed to the social development of the small island states and their economic stability.
Some nine Caribbean countries, of which St. Kitts & Nevis is included, are to benefit from the EU funding.