Since we began operating in Cuba more than 20 years ago, we have always invested in the development of communities near our sites. In the mid-2000s, this effort, referred to as the Cuba Community Investment Program (CIP), took on a more formal structure and approach. Sherritt began working with local and provincial governments in Cuba to develop an annual community investment plan for purchasing equipment and goods that meets local development needs and also aligns with national development priorities and needs. The Cuban authorities arrange for the installation or use of these items by local state-run agencies and organizations. This approach serves as a great example of effective community development planning – with highly capable local leaders setting clear development goals for their communities – that a company like ours supports. To the best of our knowledge, Sherritt is the only foreign investor in Cuba that has such a program in place.
Since 2006, when the CIP was created, we have invested more than $6 million in support of a range of community development initiatives in Cuba, including projects to provide public lighting, transportation, education, maintenance and repair of public infrastructure, improvement of public health infrastructure and sewage systems.
In 2019, we invested more than $450,000 in community projects across Cuba. The funds supported community development projects in Moa, the municipality adjacent to our nickel mining joint venture, and Matanzas and Santa Cruz del Norte, communities near our OGP facilities. Investments included procurement of lighting and air conditioning units for public institutions including Moa’s hospital, road repair and community gardening equipment, and spare parts and maintenance for equipment donated in previous years. These investments contribute to the quality of life of the people in communities around our operations.
Some of the investments made by OGP, in support of initiatives in Matanzas and Santa Cruz del Norte, provided road repair equipment, submersible pumps and equipment for the maintenance of green areas and for pipe cleaning. These projects support government efforts to supply potable water to communities and to mitigate the effects of extreme weather events and potential sources of disease.
In addition, two local health clinics in Moa were refurbished into usable buildings that can service the broader community for any medical needs not requiring hospital care.