Dominica parliament approves US$3.5 million loan

The parliament in Dominica has approved a mtion that will see the country receive a US$3.5 million loan from the International Development Association (IDA).

The government concluded negotiations with the World Bank for a financing facility in the amount of US$17,400 Special Drawing Rights, with US$3.5million (EC$ 13.5 million) as a loan and US$13,900 as grant funding.

Deputy Prime Minister Reginald Austrie, who brought the motion, sought parliament’s approval for the government to contract the loan amount.

The funds are designed to be used for emergency agricultural livelihoods and climate resilience projects.

“Hurricane Maria caused extensive damage to Dominica’s economy,” he said.

“The agricultural and fishing sectors were amongst the most affected sectors and suffered high damage and losses, severely affecting the livelihood of the farming community, affecting the country’s ability to feed itself.

“[The] government took immediate action to assist farmers and fisherfolks as every attempt was made to restore agricultural production in order to meet domestic food requirements.”

Financial support was provided by the World Bank for that programme earlier this year.

“The government of Dominica has sourced additional financing from the World Bank to further contribute to restoring agricultural livelihoods and enhancing climate resilience among farmers and fisher folks.”

The funds will be used to provide support for the recovery of the production capacity of small and medium-sized as well as production-oriented farmers through provision of tools and materials for the replanting and restoration of crops.

They will also be used to fund technical and advisory services as well as training to support adaptation technology and use of climate smart practices for increasing diversification and climate resilience in the agricultural sectors.

Livestock farmers, bee keepers, poultry farmers and boat builders look set to benefit.

Several boat building facilities will be repaired, and new agro-processing businesses will also be established, said the government.

Austrie said that the loan was consistent with the government’s debt strategy and was contracted on very concessional term.

WIC News understands that the the interest rate is 0.75% per year and the commitment charge is 0.50 per year. The loan is repayable over 50 semi-annual instalments beginning in August 2028.

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