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HomeBusinessPM Mottley offers Barbadian fishermen a grant of 25% of the cost...

PM Mottley offers Barbadian fishermen a grant of 25% of the cost of any new boat or repair …

      • $1/2M assistance for fishing industry
      •  “I have also agreed that we will give a grant…that will be available to fishermen to the tune of 25 percent of the cost of any new boat or repair and the government will carry the cost of that for them, therefore ensuring that access to financing would not become a major issue.”

By Julie Carrington

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The government of Barbados has received a humanitarian donation of $500,000 from the CAF Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean to assist scores of fisherfolk whose vessels were damaged or destroyed following the passage of hurricane Beryl.

The CAF donation represents the first injection of funds to a benevolent fund to be set up for the fishing community. The package of assistance, among other measures to revive the industry, was announced by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley during a press conference at Ilaro Court, recently.

CAF donates USD 800,000 to five Caribbean countries impacted by hurricane Beryl

Additionally, Mottley outlined other measures to be put in place for the industry:

“Without prejudice to what’s being done by the wider public and wider donations [to be received], we have asked that a number of measures be put in place. One, those who paid National Insurance, will not be an issue…. Those who are not up to date [with paying] national insurance we are aware, and obviously, you are still suffering.

“The government introduced in the middle of COVID, something called a business interruption benefit, which is slightly less than what you would receive if you had paid national insurance and received a benefit, all will be entitled to receive the business interruption benefit over the next few months, until we can get the industry back on its feet,” the prime minister assured.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley speaking during a recent press conference at Ilaro Court, where she announced an assistance package for the local fishing industry in the wake of damage caused by the passage of Hurricane Beryl. Looking on is Attorney General Dale Marshall. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Prime Minister Mottley further stated:

“In addition to that, I have given instructions for us to work with financial institutions to establish and to raise the funding to establish a 30-year revolving fund that will be available to help fishermen finance any new boats.   

“I have also agreed that we will give a grant…that will be available to fishermen to the tune of 25 percent of the cost of any new boat or repair and the government will carry the cost of that for them, therefore ensuring that access to financing would not become a major issue.”

Mottley also reported significant damage to the beaches following a tour of the coast from St Lucy to the Bridgetown Port, described the situation as “dread.”

“In the normal scheme of things…those things may be able to come back naturally.  But as you’re aware, that is the coast that helps pay the bills in this country and therefore the damage has hit where it hurts the most,” the prime minister said.

In light of this, Mottley is calling for a coherent approach to dealing with beaches, especially those on the west and north of the island, which took a battering from Hurricane Beryl.

“We believe that in the same way we have a unit to come to work every day to take care of the roads in MTW, we must have a unit that comes to work every day to take care of our beaches,” Mottley underlined.  

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