Dominica: Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr Roosevelt Skerrit on July 29, 2022 presented billion dollars budget in parliament of Dominica. The Budget 2022-2023 also focused on the “Upliftment of the Kalinago People”. PM Skerrit outlined that the government has been doing all to improve the lives of Kalinago people and will continue doing the same.
He stated, “This Labour Party Government’s commitment to improving the lives of the Kalinago people cannot be denied. We are mindful of their challenges to access financing because of the communal land ownership system, which has limited opportunities for their personal development.”
“Therefore, we have continuously implemented measures to enhance their way of life and ensure their sustainable development,” PM Roosevelt Skerrit added.
As per the Minister, in fulfilment of the promise to the Kalinago people, the Kalinago Development Fund was established in March 2022 and was capitalized with $860,000. That Fund will improve access to finance for Kalinagos resident in the Territory, address unemployment, allow them to create wealth and improve their living standards. As at June 13th 2022, 11 applications valued at $369,123.33, were approved while 41 other applications were under consideration.
He highlighted that the government has been planning to add $1.0 million will be placed in the Fund during this Fiscal Year as was promised in last year’s Budget Address.
“We are also ensuring that the resilience of our Kalinago people is strengthened in other ways. Construction of several homes is taking place throughout the Kalinago Territory,” he mentioned.
Utilising the funds and grant funding from the Canadian Government administered by the Caribbean Development Bank, a multipurpose Emergency Shelter will be built in Bataca to provide a safe haven for 150 persons in the event of any disaster. Designs have been completed and the tender process is expected to commence in the first quarter of the new Fiscal Year.
“Dynamic Dominica will rest on a healthy, well educated, properly housed and happy population. In Dominica, this Government puts the people of this country first. Against every adversity and above all struggles, we are determined that the people of Dominica must advance,” Prime Minister Skerrit asserted.