The Hon. Claude Hogan

September 2015 – (Bridgetown, Barbados): THE Chairman of the CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), the Hon. Claude Hogan, has highly praised the Barbados-based CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) for its deliberate focus on human and social development in the region during  its first funding cycle, which ended this year.

Speaking at the Fund’s Fifth Annual Meeting of Contributors and Development Partners in Barbados this week, he noted that CDF's ultimate goal is to improve the lives of people and assist in reducing the level of disparities in the Caribbean. He stressed that unlike the other financing agencies in the region, this was CDF's sole responsibility, which he termed an ambitious long-term goal. 

Hogan, who is also Montserrat's Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Lands, Housing and the Environmentdescribed the signing of the agreement in 2008, relating to the operations of the CDF, as one of the defining moments in the architecture of the CARICOM integration movement.

He said It signified the commitment of Member States to invest in a regional financial institution specifically dedicated to address the adverse social and economic dislocation arising from the operations of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) and pre-existing structural disadvantages, as well as to facilitate businesses in the disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors to take full advantage of new opportunities within the CSME and externally.

“The CDF is the real lynchpin because, as the saying goes, 'money go where money is' and by that simple formulation it means we must empower our people at all levels to develop, prosper, build sustainable livelihoods and protect our heritage for our future generations,” he said.

Hogan also told those gathered that the best lens through which the success of the Fund could be examined was the independent evaluation that was undertaken during the first half of the year and which validated the good performance.

He noted, “The evaluators were favourably impressed by the CDF as an institution and concluded that the strengths of the organisation substantially exceeded the weaknesses. The CDF was also found to be well managed with expenses under control."

The COTED chairman concluded that, it was therefore fair to say that given the learning curve both the CDF and the CARICOM Member States had to climb, the performance of the first funding cycle has provided a sound platform for the future interventions of the Fund.

He added, "The CDF is now firmly on its feet and has done well.  The Community expects that by the end of the second cycle in 2020, it will have made even more significant progress in fulfilling its mandate.” 




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