Caribbean News in Brief – September 3-09

GRANT APPROVED

Port-au-Prince, Haiti: The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a US$25 million policy-based grant that will allow the Caribbean nation’s government to boost much-needed revenue.

The IDB said the funds would support the government’s reforms to increase tax and customs revenues, improve the efficiency of public spending and strengthen the management of public debt.

The assistance will also contribute to Haiti’s efforts to reinforce its Public Works Ministry’s capacity to plan, develop and maintain the national road network as well as the government’s efforts to increase the efficiency of the state-owned utility company, Electricité d’Haiti.

In addition, the IDB is taking part in a multilateral debt relief initiative that enables Haiti to free up to US$50 million annually for investments in poverty reduction programs.

HOLDING STEADY

Kingston, Jamaica: Prime Minister Bruce Golding’s approval rating has remained steady, despite his administration’s unpopular decision to seek financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund.

In a poll commissioned by the Gleaner newspaper, 47 per cent of respondents said they believed Golding was doing a good job as prime minister.

As Golding’s Jamaica Labour Party administration enters its second year in office this week, he is also coming under fire for imposing a wage freeze on public sector workers.

Pollster Bill Johnson said despite the decline of the nation’s economy, Golding has earned his approval rating from past achievements.

NOT RUNNING

Georgetown, Guyana: President Bharrat Jagdeo says he has no intention to run for a third term, despite the release of a recent poll showing strong support for such a bid.

“Let me clear this up – I have no intention, no desire, nothing to run for another term so all of this speculation out there, it’s just that – speculation,” Jagdeo said last week.

However, he stopped short of saying whether he supports or disapproves of the removal of two-term limits from the nation’s constitution.

Of the 780 adults surveyed, 51 per cent approved of Jagdeo’s performance as president; 36 per cent disapproved and 13 per cent opted not to answer the question. Fifty per cent would support Jagdeo if he sought a third term.

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