(By Ernesto Cooke) – THE Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) provided more than $140.2 million in financing in 2020 and secured an additional $50 million for 2021 to support its Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) in mitigating the macroeconomic fallout and adverse social effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the case of St Vincent and the Grenadines, the country received USD $11.3 million or EC $30.54 million.
In Part 2 of CDB’s Regional Report: 2020 Review and 2021 Outlook, Bank President, Dr Wm. Warren Smith said:
“When the pandemic struck, CDB recognised quickly that the resulting increase in COVID-related expenditure was occurring at a time when taxes and other government revenues were also being adversely affected.
We were able to use resources from our concessional Special Development Fund (SDF) to provide US$66.7 million in emergency loans to seven eligible countries. In this way these countries gained access to additional resources to meet unforeseen expenditures whilst continuing to protect the most vulnerable in their populations.”
In December 2020, CDB signed a US$50 million loan agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank to support COVID-19 response projects in Member countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.
This line of credit will finance programmes to help reduce COVID-19 transmission and fatality rates; ensure access to minimum levels of quality of life and health for vulnerable citizens and provide support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in 2021 and beyond.
Through a collaboration with the Caribbean Public Health Agency, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and the Pan-American Health Organisation, CDB provided US$3 million to procure personal protective equipment for healthcare workers across 14 countries.
CDB also collaborated with the Caribbean Export Development Agency to provide a US$600,000 emergency response mechanism to assist export-oriented MSMEs to retool.
Additionally, through its Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund, CDB awarded US$100,000 in grant funding to implementors of seven cultural and entertainment events that lost income from the cancellations due to the onset of COVID-19.