FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Basseterre, St. Kitts – October 2, 2012 (SIDF)
The St. Kitts and Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) has responded to a request from the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) for assistance to finance capital projects. On Friday, September 21, 2012, CEO of the SIDF, Mr. Terrence Crossman, handed over a cheque for EC$6,000,000.00 to the Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Joseph Parry, in the presence of Mr. Laurie Lawrence, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance.
The loan will be used to carry out drainage work to alleviate flooding which damages roads and private properties in the affected areas, and to purchase necessary heavy duty equipment for the Public Works Department. Premier Parry explained that with the global recession and the local debt restructuring programme, the NIA was unable to raise capital required to fund these and other urgent projects. Both Premier Parry and Lawrence expressed appreciation to the SIDF for the critical financial support provided.
Nevis has been benefitting from the SIDF through direct assistance to the NIA and ongoing programmes funded by the SIDF. A loan of EC$3,000,000.00 to the NIA helped to finance the construction of the Nevis Performing Arts Centre which was officially opened in April this year. Also this year, grants totaling EC$1,173,409.00 were contributed to assist the NIA in implementing the Bath House and Stream Rehabilitation Project and the Saddle Hill and Surrounds Protection and Preservation Project. Earlier in September, the SIDF provided a grant in the amount of EC$1,000,000.00 to fund the upgrade of the Charlestown Port in an effort to grow the cruise sector. Nevisian citizens have accessed residential loans under the Fund for the Realization of Economic Empowerment through Subsidized Housing (FREESH). Additionally, residents as well as businesses have benefitted from the boost in economic activity created as a result of the Airlift Support Programme that guarantees weekly arrivals of visitors to our Federation on American Airlines and British Airways.
The SIDF, established in 2006, has a mandate to provide support to Government in its efforts to diversify the national economy and maintain economic stability, and to support, finance or undertake the development of new and existing industries, projects or enterprises. The SIDF may also provide grants, loans, budget support, debt forgiveness or assistance of any kind to the Government or to persons or institutions that qualify for such assistance under its policies.