KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica received US$90 million of the recently agreed US$101 million loan package from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on Thursday, December 18.
The major loan agreement covering three loans, was signed by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw, and the Executive Vice President of the IDB, Daniel Zelikow, in Washington, United States, on December 5, 2008.
In a statement released through the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), the Minister noted that the loans reflected the refocused strategy of the Government, as it seeks to source less expensive loans to meet its budgetary requirements, as well as to gradually reduce dependence on expensive loans from the international capital markets.
The Minister’s statement also pointed out that earlier this week, the Finance Ministry completed negotiations with the IDB regarding the US$300 million Liquidity Programme for Growth Sustainability.
“The programme will provide substantial liquidity to our commercial banks that are currently facing reduced access to foreign credit lines and inter-bank credit, and will also provide credit to the goods and services producing sectors,” he explained.
Mr. Shaw said that in order to ease the difficulties that the nation’s poorest are experiencing, the Government has successfully completed negotiations with the multi-lateral institution for financing of US$15 million, to assist in the expansion of the PATH Programme.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, December 17, a US$14 million IDB loan facility was made available to finance improvements to eight schools, as part of the Primary Education Support Project (PESP). Since the beginning of the year, the IDB has approved a record eight loans, totalling US$405 million, to Jamaica.
In January, 2009, the IDB Board will consider the loans for the Liquidity Programme for Growth Sustainability and the facility for the expansion of the PATH Programme, totalling US$315 million. The loan agreements are scheduled to be signed by Prime Minister Bruce Golding and IDB President, Louis Alberto Moreno, in Jamaica, on January 19.
President Moreno will be visiting the island in January to attend the Third International Workshop on Crime and Violence Prevention, which will be sponsored by the IDB.