AID Assistance to the Eastern Caribbean

Program Changes and Possible Consequences Gao ID: ID-83-50 July 22, 1983

GAO reported on the methods the Agency for International Development (AID) uses to administer the U.S. assistance program to the Eastern Caribbean.

GAO found that, while AID has greatly increased its assistance to the Eastern Caribbean, it has made strategy changes which will place additional burdens on its staff. In the last several years, AID has decreased assistance channeled through the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). Although AID has generally been satisfied with CDB performance, a conflict has arisen because U.S. policy seeks to deny assistance to the Government of Grenada and CDB prohibits the exclusion of potential assistance recipients based on political grounds. GAO believes that there are several solutions to this problem, including the use of CDB to administer trust funds for specific activities on a particular island. In addition, AID has recently initiated projects to provide assistance directly to Eastern Caribbean governments. However, these bilateral assistance projects will require more staff time and will increase management costs. Because these bilateral programs are recent, AID has not yet developed the strategy documents for individual islands. Finally, GAO found that AID is aggressively promoting private business investment and expansion in the islands. Because the private sector program is in the early stage of implementation, there are few documented results.


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