EU money is imminent

The long awaited C-envelope funds from the European Union for Hurricane Ivan relief should be remitted to the National Hurricane Fund within the next three weeks.

In total, 7 million euros – or approximately US$9 million – is expected.

Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts said at the Cabinet press briefing Friday that he had just had an email about the funds the day before.

One reason Mr. Tibbetts believes the funds will actually arrive soon this time, after more than a year of waiting, is because of Prince Edwards visit from 3-6 February.

‘His Royal Highness has taken a personal interest in the C-envelope,’ he said. ‘He wants the funds here before he arrives.’

Mr. Tibbetts said Prince Edward would take a tour of Cayman to look at the lingering hurricane damage in order to get a first-hand view of the recovery process.

The European Union member states approved the C-envelope on 21 August, 2006, and sent it down to the European Commission for approval at the end of September.

The Cayman Islands Government had been hopeful that the first tranche of 3.7 million euros would have been paid by the end of October, but once again, the remittance was delayed.

Once the funds are received, it will enable the National Recovery Fund to complete all of the Hurricane Ivan construction work on its schedule, and add in fact, expand its scope.