Jamaican, Caribbean private sector to access more than US$2b in IDB Invest pandemic recovery financing

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Jamaican, Caribbean private sector to access more than US$2b in IDB Invest pandemic recovery financing

Saturday, August 08, 2020

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WASHINGTON, United States — Various private sector concerns in the Caribbean, hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, are to access more than US$2 billion in new financing from Inter-American Development Bank and its private sector arm, IDB Invest.

Jamaica's ambassador to the United States, Audrey Marks, explained that the embassy is to assist with outreach – especially to Jamaica's private sector – to raise awareness about accessing this support mechanism for faster recovery.

Says Marks: “The IDB has a long and distinguished track record of supporting our country in various sectors, and this specific facility of the IDB and IDB Invest will go a far way towards protecting jobs by supporting and sustaining Jamaica's private sector recovery from the negative impacts of COVID-19.”

IDB Invest recently increased its COVID-19 response to US$7 billion in financing, including an additional US$500 million in long-term investments and US$1.5 billion in trade finance operations. On top of this US$7 billion, it plans to mobilise capital from third-party investors.

In a release, the agency explained that “given the deepening crisis… the goal is to finance interventions that alleviate healthcare constraints, maintain jobs, restore supply chains and sustain sources of income, especially for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).”

Its long-term support will come in the form of liquidity and working capital lines for corporates in sectors such tourism, agribusiness, manufacturing and technology; bank, non-bank, trade and supply chain financing focused on underlying MSMEs; and infrastructure projects for ongoing developmental impact.

Priority sectors in Jamaica slated to receive advisory services and financial support include sustainable tourism, digital transformation, infrastructure, manufacturing and financial inclusion. In light of the deleterious impact of COVID-19 on Jamaica's economy, IDB Invest will seek to support Jamaica's green and sustainable recovery towards a more inclusive and digitally connected economy.

Therese Turner-Jones, IDB Jamaica country representative and general manager for the Caribbean Country Group, noted that the bank has been keeping close tabs on COVID developments in the region. “The pandemic has caused unprecedented shocks across the region and, as the foremost development partner to the Caribbean, we are pulling out all the stops to work even more closely with governments and the private and non-profit sectors to provide all the assistance necessary.”

In Jamaica, IDB Invest currently has an active portfolio of nearly US$250 million in assets under management. Since March, the agency has been supporting clients impacted by COVID-19 with a strategy focused on protecting and alleviating companies from the health and economic effects as well as reigniting economic activity in critical sectors. The IDB Group comprises the IDB that works with the Governments, IDB Invest that serves the private sector, and IDB Lab that finances innovative projects to enable more inclusive growth.

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