by Linda Straker
- IADB through CDB to provide Grenada with a soft loan of US$8.95 million
- Individuals and small businesses are expected to benefit
- Some will receive grants, others will be granted loans
The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) through the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has agreed to provide Grenada with a soft loan of US$8.95 million for the country to use as a stimulus package for people who have been marginalised by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has marginalised many persons. Those of us who have continued to receive a salary throughout the pandemic, must understand that there are many who have been without an income for more than a year and they too have commitments and families that they need to take care of. While we do what we can to help those who are continuing to work but have difficulties, we have to spend a lot of time trying to help those who have nothing at all.”
Dr Mitchell explained that money from that soft loan is to help “marginalised persons who are affected the most.” He said, “Government has been trying to secure additional stimulus as we did in the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been able to negotiate with the Caribbean Development Bank and the International Development Bank a very soft loan of US$8.95 million.”
“The Ministry of Finance is working with the Ministry of Social Development and also engaging some of our social partners in the whole question of the areas and persons that could be supported with that initiative that we are embarking,” he added.
Disclosing some of the terms and conditions of the funding which is under the Bank’s Covid-19 economic recovery initiative he said that it will be at a variable interest rate of about 2.06% with a 5-year grace period and a repayment period of more than 20 years.
Dr Mitchell who previously served as the finance minister said that currently, the Ministry of Finance is working very closely with the Caribbean Development Bank to finalise the policy, proposals and format that will be used to implement the initiative.
Individuals and small businesses are expected to benefit from the initiative. Disbursements are expected to begin in August/September, and while some will receive grants, others will be granted loans.
In April 2020, members of both Houses of Parliament approved an EC$50 million stimulus package. EC$20 million was to ensure workers in the tourism sector received payroll assistance for a 3-month period.