Recovery Fund struggling to meet EU grant deadline

| 02/02/2009

(CNS): Although the National Recovery Fund has already obtained an extension on the January dealine for spending the grant given to it by the European Union, the Director says the fund is struggling to meet the strict rules set by the EU and local red tape. The Fund must spend all the money on those who still need help following Hurricane Ivan by the end of March or it has to send the cash back.

“While the NRF, Government and people of the Cayman Islands are extremely grateful to the EU for their grant, the EU agreements themselves have been a complex labyrinth of rules and restrictions,” said Dr Mark Laskin, Director of the NRF.

Although news of the approval of the grant was originally given to the NRF in December 2008, receipt of the first transfer of funds under the second grant agreement arrived on 5 January and all monies must be spent or returned by 1 April 2009.

Laskin said the NRF is closely and cooperatively with the Government to use as much of the funds as effectively as possible within the constraints. All funds under the first tranche, €3.7 million, of the original €7 million grant have been accounted for to the EU and audited by PWC.

The NRF said the March deadline for spending the rest of the money still presents enormous obstacles. As per the new agreement, all works must be 100 percent completed before the 31 of the month. Laskin said that this leaves a three month timeframe for completion of work in such areas as tendering, assignment of contractors, planning permission, land preparation, fill and survey work as well as all construction itself. 

The EU funds can only be spent in repairing homes that were adversely affected by Hurricane Ivan in Grand Cayman and cannot benefit Cayman Brac.  The NRF said it is still actively trying to raise separate money for Cayman Brac and its residents through donations from individuals and corporations.

 

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s a pity those funds could not be sent to the Brac. We are in desperate need of every penny.

  2. Anonymous says:

    PPM was mislead into believing that there was no deadline.