Thursday, September 25, 2003 - Another venture aimed at assisting St.
Lucians in upgrading their skills through appropriate programmes of study
locally and abroad, will be introduced here.
Prime Minister and Minister for Economic Affairs Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony
has given his approval for the establishment of the new mechanism dubbed ‘The
Human Resource Development Credit Facility’, which will be administered by the
European Development Fund (EDF).
The National Authorising Officer Wilfred Pierre will meet on Friday, September
26 2003, with the various financial institutions to discuss the new credit
facility. “We are really excited about this new facility,” said Pierre. “It’s
really a grant and loan facility in one. The grant component of the facility we
hope, will be used for payment of interest expenses throughout the duration of
studies. When one takes a loan, the banks normally say one has to pay the
interest amount during the time that the individual is out studying. We are
saying that the grant facility will be used to pay the interest expense and
after the person has returned from studies, he will use what remains as part of
the grant to repay the loan,” said Pierre.
High level discussions with the European Union (EU) are expected to yield some
$5 million which the Government of St. Lucia will pump into the financial
facility along with contributions expected from various financial institutions
on the island.
To date, the EDF has launched two other credit facilities - the Rural Credit
Facility and the Low Income Housing Credit Facility - which are reportedly
performing above expectations.