China has given Antigua & Barbuda fresh grant support of around EC $51 million.
The aid comes in three components: as part of an Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation; for assistance in disaster response and support for the Antigua & Barbuda Defence Force.
The precise use of the first set of funds will be decided by consultation between both parties.
Antigua & Barbuda’s Ambassador to China Brian Stuart-Young said the aid brought through the exchange of notes will “help equip our local teams to be able to handle emergencies and be fully equipped to be able to do so. There’s also assistance to the APUA in the replacement of important wiring”.
“We have several projects that are on board and in the pipeline. We are about to start one project, which is the Grays Green Community Centre and indoor basketball arena. But the funding we are receiving now will also be able to apply to two other community centres, one in City West and another one in St Phillips North. Those will be polyclinics whereby you will have community centre, as well as a medical clinic,” Stuart-Young said.
China’s Ambassador to Antigua and Barbuda Wang Xianmin explained the amount that will come as bilateral support. “The Chinese government will provide the government of Antigua and Barbuda with grant aid in the amount of 100 million RMB nearly 16 million US dollars to support bilateral co-operation programmes, the amount of the disaster relief materials is totally 7.5 million RMB nearly 1.2 million US dollars; the material will be transported to the port of St John’s in the upcoming months,” Wang said.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne added: “In addition, there will be in amount of 8 million EC dollars in grant to the Defence Force to help the Defence Force re-equip. So the total amount is EC $51 million.”