CEO of the CDF, Rodinald Soomer

October 2015 – (Bridgetown, Barbados): THE CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) will be seeking to place  greater emphasis on developing and implementing regional projects as the fund enters its Second Funding Cycle of operations.


This was revealed by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Fund, Rodinald Soomer, who says “We want to have much more of a regional focus and start developing regional projects. Even as we continue with individual Country Assistance Programmes (CAPs), we want the work of the Fund to have a broader Regional dimension. We also want to be able to use dedicated resources to leverage support from development partners in building out the regional dimension of the CDF’s operations.


“We positioned ourselves to be very responsive and demand driven but given that the CSME is being fully rolled out, we want to now focus our Member Countries on designing their interventions within the framework of the CSME, as is the intention under the Treaty.”


He added that as the CDF moves into the second funding cycle the goal was to also offer the Fund to partners as a conduit and a framework for coordination and channeling of assistance to Member States, in an integrated and coordinated way.


“We will be addressing economic dislocation and other adverse social and economic impacts arising from the CSME and the structural diversification needs of disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors seeking to take advantage of the CSME. Additionally, we will be facilitating business development, enterprise competitiveness and the promotion of regional investment, among others,” Soomer noted.


He added that in the second cycle there was also a need to improve disbursement and implementation rates, adding that the CDF is depending on member states to help them to do this.


“We want to acknowledge that St. Lucia is the first Member State to make its contribution to the second Cycle and has paid its first tranche in full, which is due in December this year. So we want to commend and recognise St. Lucia and hope that this sets the benchmark for the other Member States.


“We are projecting that we will receive the first tranche from all other Member States, with the exception of Barbados and Jamaica who have requested additional time, by the end of the year, and that all contributions will be paid in full by December 2016,” Soomer stated.


He ended by advising those in attendance that the CDF, which is home-grown, was here to stay: “We have a track record of very good performance. We have demonstrated our transparency and our relevance and we have held ourselves accountable. We have been highly responsive to the needs of our members with targeted programmes and we are poised for growth – to accommodate new member states and in the scope of our operations.


“The CDF must now position itself as the development engine of choice for the CSME. We are nimble, innovative, and dynamic. We are proven and will be sustainable in our efforts and in our developmental impact on the Caribbean region.” 




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