HAVANA._ The cooperation project started by Cuba and Kuwait in the hydraulic sector at the beginning of the past decade continues to bear its fruits, as recently demonstrated by the signing of three agreements intended to support repair works of the aqueduct and sewage system in Havana.
In March, several Cuban entities and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) signed loan, guarantee, and project agreements that will allow for the implementation of the second phase of the project that had already been granted a credit from the Arab institution in 2012 to fund hydraulic works in the Cuban capital.
The signing ceremony was led by Cuban Minister for Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, and Abdulwahab Al-Bader, the KFAED director general, who signed all three agreements.
Meanwhile, President of the Cuban Hydraulic Resources Institute (CHRI), Inés María Chapman, Deputy Minister for Finance and Prices, Félix Martínez, and president of Cuba’s Foreign Trade Bank, Manuel Antonio Vale, signed the agreements on the Cuban part.
“This is the fourth time we have signed agreements with the island and we are committed to continue granting credits to financially support works of that magnitude,” said Al-Bader, who was accompanied by the regional director of his entity, Abdullah Al-Musaibeeh, and Kuwait’s ambassador to Cuba, Bader Al-Awadi.
Inés María Chapman said that the fund recently granted a credit worth $21 million. With the total amount given for the restoration of the aqueduct and sewage system in Havana, the total now amounts to $52 million.
Chapman asserted that this sum will provide the possibility to continue repairing large water networks until reaching residential homes and state entities. The project has been divided into several stages due to its magnitude.
This type of agreement allows for a financial source for the city, as the repair works started in all of the provinces’ municipalities in 2011 are expected to be completed within 14 years, the CHRI president added.
Furthermore, she commented that CHRI studiesshowed that more than $750 million would be needed to restore the entire hydraulic network in Havana.
Consequently, efforts are being made in order to get other loans from different financial sources.
The contribution made by the KFAED to foster Cuban projects date back to 2003 when agreements to help restore Santiago de Cuba’s aqueduct were signed.
Six years later similar agreements were signed to improve the water supply network in the eastern city of Holguín, while the agreement to fund the first phase of the Havana project was signed in 2012.
According to Al-Bader, the institution founded in 1961 is willing to support the third phase of the restoration works in Havana. He added that the KFAED and the Cuban Foreign Trade and Investment Ministry are analyzing the possibility of funding more projects in other key areas such as renewable energy.Share on FB Share on TT