Caribbean Development Bank ramps up support to member countries

Caribbean Development Bank ramps up support to member countries

BY MIGUEL A THOMAS
Associate editor
thomasm@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, February 16, 2020

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President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Dr Wm Warren Smith told journalists gathered at its headquarters in Bridgetown, Barbados, this week for the annual news conference that the bank wishes to target the strengthening of the governance framework within the countries of the region to increase access to concessionary funding.

He said its board of directors, in 2019, approved some US$347 million for capital projects, policy-based operations, and technical assistance, and that disbursements rose by near eight per cent to US$305 million in 2019.

He explained that often missed targets, human capacity problems, and implementation challenges account for the gap between approval and disbursement.

The CDB's board of directors is responsible for the general policy and direction of the bank's operations. It takes decisions concerning loans, guarantees, and other investments for borrowing member countries (BMCs).

Daniel Best, director of projects at the bank, in addressing the news conference, was sure to point out that this was the fourth-consecutive year of increases in disbursements.

“This is the result of our ongoing focus on supervision,” he explained, adding that it was essential that technical support be given to BMCs so that they can successfully implement the projects the CDB has approved.

He went on to stress that capacity-building in the countries of the region was an area of key interest in the march towards improving the lives of citizens.

“Development does not happen without implementation,” he charged, “but there must be monitoring.”

“We leveraged our partnerships in search of new and additional sources of concessionary funds, while operationally our interventions were underpinned by the imperatives of adaptation, resilience-building, innovation, and inclusion.” To do so, he explained that the CDB had diversified its investor base and increased access to resources at attractive terms to BMCs.

For his part, Smith said that bank has implemented a programme to train public officials to better manage the process of implementation so as to facilitate a better partnership. He charged, however, that “economic growth will remain lopsided and below the sustainable rates needed for long-term resilience”.

As such, the CDB is committed to supporting institution-strengthening and working at improving its internal systems to be more responsive to the needs of member countries and improve the pace of disbursements so that “the approved projects can deliver, even faster, the promised development impact”.


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