CDB Approves Over USD461 Million For Development Projects – St. Lucia Times

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The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) approved over USD461 million in financing for projects in water, renewable energy, education, and health, and to provide budgetary support for governments, underscoring its continued commitment to regional development in 2023.

These approvals included USD125 million to The Bahamas and USD43 million to Saint Lucia for public financial management reforms and liquidity support.

The funding will also enable interventions to upgrade infrastructure, reduce poverty, build climate resilience, and improve social services.

In addition, the institution disbursed a record USD390 million for project implementation and technical assistance in 2023.

Speaking at the Bank’s Annual News Conference on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, Director of Projects, Mrs. Therese Turner-Jones said, “Without a doubt, 2023 was an excellent year for the Bank as we moved closer to closing gaps in the region’s sustainable development agenda. Looking ahead to 2024, we anticipate greater advances, as we address outstanding infrastructure and social and economic priorities. Improving health, education, citizens’ security, and economic prosperity in the region remains our laser focus.”

Describing how CDB is “Supporting Resilient Prosperity”, Mrs. Turner-Jones highlighted that through the Basic Needs Trust Fund, the Bank has committed USD30 million for nearly 100 projects aimed at reducing poverty and fostering economic empowerment in some of the most underprivileged communities across the region.

She also cited the Bank’s USD6 million Youth Economy Project in Saint Lucia which promotes youth entrepreneurship to reduce unemployment and curb crime.

The CDB Projects Director outlined a multi-faceted agenda for 2024, including major infrastructure projects such as a USD60 million upgrade of the Glass Window Bridge in the Bahamas and a USD36 million overhaul for the George Price Highway in Belize to increase safety and boost economic activity in each roadway’s geographic reach.

Another thrust is addressing the effects of gender-based violence through a partnership with UN Women to establish One-Stop Centers in Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines that provide a comprehensive and coordinated response for those affected.

Turning to the Private Sector, Mrs. Turner-Jones stressed that the Bank is focused on improving the environment for commerce and industry, and support will include financial assistance, technical expertise, infrastructure investment, and policy advocacy.

Also, with a new thrust to embrace agility and collaboration in 2024, the Bank will focus on investigating and stemming the root causes of project implementation delays in its client countries.

“While CDB is actively trying to mobilize resources where they are needed the most for development, we are aware of the challenges governments face with project implementation. This year we are undertaking an extensive investigation to find the root causes of the lack of execution in the region. To build ability in-country we will facilitate “hands-on” support to improve procurement processes and we will make use of our upgraded digital systems to reinforce better monitoring and reporting on projects,” Mrs. Therese Turner-Jones said.

SOURCE: Caribbean Development Bank