by STAFF WRITER
February 1, 2022
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Feb 1, CMC – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB0 Tuesday said it had mobilised over US$80 million specifically to help its Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) meet the increased and changing needs brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“The second year of the COVID-19 pandemic saw our response underpinned by flexibility and dexterity. Wherever possible we worked with our BMCs to redesign on-going operations to meet short-term needs and we built partnerships to leverage additional and concessionary resources to fund national level management and response,” said the CDB’s director of Projects Department, Daniel Best.
He said the partnerships included collaboration with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission, the University of the West Indies (UWI) as well as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Best said that this response included partnering with the IDB to make US$50 million available for health, education, social protection and economic projects in the OECS and with the European Investment Bank to provide Euro 30 million (One Euro-US$1.29 cents) for vaccines and health-related emergency expenditure throughout the CDB’s BMCs.
It also included a grants programme implemented by the Barbados-based Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), which saw US$887,380 in grants issued to 61 small businesses affected by COVID 19.
Overall, CDB approved US$122.6 million in projects in 2021. Loan financing accounted for US$71.2 million, while grant funding was US$51.4 million.
Disbursements in 2021 totalled US$256.6 million, with a record US$20 million being disbursed
in Haiti. Despite the constraints of the pandemic, several major projects funded by the bank were completed or under implementation across the region in 2021.
The regional bank said that the highlights included the completion of the Science and Technology Block at the Dr. JP Eustace Memorial Secondary School in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, upgrading of 30 Science and TVET workshops in St. Kitts and Nevis and the provision of equipment for six of the Federation’s eight public secondary schools, the installation and upgrade of water supply lines for the Dennery North area in St. Lucia, as well as the completion of the US$40 million Grantley Adams International Airport Pavement Rehabilitation and Expansion Project in Barbados.
Best told reporters that in 2022, a major focus on climate investment for member countries.
“CDB expects to mobilise up to US$150 million in concessional climate finance through those programmes and projects financed from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
“We are working with BMCs to develop additional pipeline projects for GCF co-financing, to scale up and improve the sustainability of future climate finance flows to the Caribbean. Implementation of the
EUR€14 million EU-funded Caribbean Action for Resilience Enhancement (CARE) Programme will commence implementation in the first quarter of 2022 and this will provide grant financing to support climate resilience in our BMCs,” he added.