CARICOM – The Government of Australia is giving AUS$1M to the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF). The money which is to be transferred before year-end is slated for the CDF’s capital fund. The CEO of the CDF, Ambassador Lorne McDonnough, has expressed the appreciation of the CDF Board and Management for the Government of Australia’s contribution.
Speaking with the Australian High Commissioner in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Amb. McDonnough noted the alacrity with which the Government of Australia completed its discussions with the CDF. This, he stated was a positive demonstration of support following the culmination of talks initiated by the Hon. David Thompson Prime Minister of Barbados, who is the Chairman of the CARICOM Resource Mobilisation Task Force for the CDF, and the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. Kevin Rudd in New York in September 2009.
The commitment to the CDF comes in the wake of the signature of a four-year, AUS$60M Partnership Agreement signed between the Government of Australia and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Trinidad and Tobago in the margins of the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
As part of the capital fund, the CDF will utilise the AUS$1M to make interventions in Disadvantaged Member States in keeping with the CDF mandate to reduce intra-regional disparities.