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Belmopan, BELIZE: May 31, 2017 – Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and Dr. June Soomer, Secretary General of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) discussed collaborations on a range of issues when they met at the Centre’s office here on Monday, May 29, 2017.
Dr. Soomer, and her team paid a courtesy call on Dr. Leslie and his team, and took the opportunity to discuss areas of future cooperation and dialogue. In reviewing the scope of work and responsibilities of both organisations, both Drs. Leslie and Soomer agreed that the region could benefit if both organisations coordinate for the advancement of areas such as eco-systems based management, the development of scientific tools and data to aid climate change adaptation measures and on programmes that would help regional leaders to make more informed decisions.
Dr Soomer pointed to the organisation’s recent signing of a US$4 million grant from South Korea to assess and control the impact of coastal erosion and sea level rise in some member states. The grant is being used to do work in countries like Jamaica where CCCCC is also doing coastal protection work with KfW, the German Development Bank.
Other areas identified for parallel coordination efforts include fisheries, communication, disaster risk response and climate financing. Pointing to the Centre’s recent accreditation by the Greed Climate Fund (GCF), Dr. Leslie said:
“The Centre along with the Caribbean Development Bank are now able to access financing to help the countries of the region prepare for the effects of climate change”.
The Centres’ work, Dr. Soomer told the meeting, aligns itself to the ACS’ goal to take the achievements of the region to the rest of the world. Caribbean also has a lot to teach the world, she said, noting that in the case of small organisations like the CCCCC and ACS, “pooling the resources, can do a lot for the region”.
Dr Soomer’s team also included Ms. Tricia Barrow, Political Advisor and Alexander Girvan, the Caribbean Sea Commission Coordinator. Dr.’s Leslie’s team included Mr. Keith Kichols, Dr. Donneil Cain, Mr Vincent Peter, project development specialists, and Mr. Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liaison Officer.
The ACS is a grouping of countries of the sharing the Caribbean Sea. The organization provides a framework for cooperation and dialogue to further the economic integration, intra-regional trade and investments to improve competitiveness of its membership.
St Kitts and Nevis is getting a climate-related Caribbean Development Bank grant of $538,000 euros.
The CDB says the funds will facilitate the conducting of a climate risk and vulnerability assessment of the federation’s coastal road infrastructure.
The CDB grant will also be used to prepare designs for the rehabilitation of two high-priority sites, according to a release from the regional Bank.
The bank’s board of directors has approved millions in loans and grants for ten borrowing member countries, including the grant to St Kitts and Nevis.
In the case of Dominica the CDB has approved a US$12 million line of credit to support education and housing.
The loan to the Dominica Agricultural Industrial and Development Bank is intended to assist in providing finance for student loans, and low and lower-middle income housing that, combined, is expected to benefit 400 people.
Haiti is being given a significant CDB grant to improve climate resilience, and disaster risk management.
The CDB says the grant of US$5.5 million to the Government of Haiti is to improve climate resilience and disaster risk management on an island off the country’s southern peninsula.
St Vincent and the Grenadines is meanwhile being allocated five million US dollars in loans and grants in additional support for the transformation of the country’s energy sector.
Other projects have been approved in The Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Suriname and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) says it is providing US$40 million in funding for poverty reduction in eight Caribbean through the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF).
It said the resources will support improved access to quality education; water and sanitation; basic community access and drainage; livelihoods enhancement and human resource development services in low-income and vulnerable communities under the ninth phase of BNTF (BNTF 9).
The countries that will benefit from the initiative are Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.
“The participating countries share many common characteristics and face a number of challenges inherent to small, open economies. BNTF 9 will respond to the development needs of these countries, which face challenges associated with limited diversity in production and extreme vulnerability to natural hazards, which is now exacerbated by climate change and other external shocks,” said Daniel Best, director of projects at the CDB.
Initiatives under BNTF 9 will be implemented during the period March 2017 to December 2020.
The CDB said that the governments of the eight participating countries will provide total counterpart funding of US$6.4 million.
BNTF has implemented more than 2,750 sub-projects over the past 37 years, directly impacting the lives of more than three million beneficiaries in poor communities,” the CDB said, adding that the programme is its main vehicle for tackling poverty in the region, through the provision of basic infrastructure and skills training towards improving the livelihoods of beneficiaries in participating countries.
Credit: Jamaica Observer
In 2016, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) approved US$306 million in loans and grants, the highest approval total during the past five years. And of the countries for which funding was approved, Belize, Saint Lucia and Suriname were the three largest beneficiaries of loans.
Dr William Warren Smith, CDB president, made this announcement during the bank’s annual news conference on Friday, February 17, in Barbados.
Smith pointed out that, in addition to the grants approved in 2016, the Bank began implementing the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UK CIF). UK CIF is a £300 million grant programme for transformational infrastructure projects in eight Caribbean countries and one British overseas territory, which CDB administers. £16.4 million in grants was approved for projects and technical assistance in Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica and Grenada.
“We reached noteworthy milestones in deepening our strategic partnerships and successfully mobilising financial resources that our BMCs can use to craft appropriate responses to their development challenges,” said Smith, noting that UK CIF was among the bank’s partnership highlights in 2016.
Last year, the bank also signed a credit facility agreement with Agence Française de Développement. It included a US$33 million loan to support sustainable infrastructure projects and a EUR3 million grant to fund feasibility studies for projects eligible for financing under the credit facility.
Also in 2016, CDB entered an arrangement with the government of Canada for the establishment and administration of a CA$5 million fund to build capacity in the energy sector, the Canadian Support to the Energy Sector in the Caribbean Fund.
These recent partnerships are part of the bank’s drive to raise appropriately-priced resources mainly for financing projects with a strong focus on climate adaptation, renewable energy and energy efficiency.
During his statement, Smith highlighted that the bank became an accredited partner institution of both the Adaptation Fund and the Green Climate Fund in 2016.
“The Adaptation Fund and the Green Climate Fund have opened new gateways to much-needed grant and or low-cost financing to address climate change vulnerabilities in all of our BMCs,” Smith told the media.
The president also confirmed that, in 2016, CDB completed negotiations for the replenishment of the Special Development Fund (SDF), the bank’s largest pool of concessionary funds. Contributors agreed to an overall programme of US$355 million for the period 2017-2020, and lowered the SDF interest rate from a range of 2 to 2.5 percent to 1 percent. The programme approved includes US$45 million for Haiti and US$40 million for the Basic Needs Trust Fund. This marked the ninth replenishment of the SDF, which helps meet the Caribbean region’s high-priority development needs.
In his statement, Smith also reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to drive sustained and inclusive income growth, complemented by improvements in living standards in its BMCs. This, he said, was critical, as economic growth across the region remains uneven, with fragile recovery expected to continue into 2017.
“At the core of our operations is the desire to better the lives of Caribbean people. That is the context within which we help to design, appraise and evaluate every project we finance,” Smith said.
Credit: Caribbean News Now!
The Thirty-Ninth Meeting of the Community Council of Ministers opened on 9 January 2017, at the CARICOM headquarters, Guyana, under the chairmanship of Guyana’s Vice President and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Carl Greenidge.
In his remarks to the Official Opening, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community, Amb. Irwin LaRocque told the gathering that 2017 was “a crucial year for the Community’s Reform Process, as it was the mid-point of the five-year (2015-2019) Strategic Plan for the Community, a foundational element of the process. He informed that the Operational Plan for achieving the goals of the Strategic Plan was designed and that a system to measure progress, based on the principles of Results-Based Management, was being established with financing from the Caribbean Development Bank. Amb. LaRocque said that the gender sensitive CARICOM Results-based Management System was a timely and necessary initiative which would bring significant changes to the way the Community works.
“It will assist in fostering a results-oriented culture throughout the Community and will help us to measure the pace of the regional integration process and its impact on the lives of the people…”, he said.
The Secretary General highlighted a number of issues that the Community was still grappling with. These included low growth, the challenges of correspondent banking, climate change, crime and security and restrictions on access to concessional development financing. Amb. LaRocque called for the strengthening and deepening of the Community’s integration process, noting that it was the “best option to ensure that the Community withstand the challenges before it.”
“It is our path to sustainable development and the continued improvement of the lives of the people of our Community”, he said.
Minister Greenidge will guide the two-day meeting of the Council, which comprises ministers responsible for CARICOM Affairs in Member States and is the second highest Organ of the Community. The Council has primary responsibility for strategic planning and coordination of the Community, in accordance with the policy directions established by the Conference of Heads of Government.
Peruse: Remarks at the Opening Ceremony
Credit: CARICOM Secretariat
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) recently partnered with the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA), to host the largest gathering of water and waste-management specialists from across the Caribbean at the CWWA 2016 Conference and Exhibition.
“Clean water is one of the key pillars of human development and its importance cannot be overstated. The use and management of water impacts all of today’s leading global challenges, including: energy generation and usage; food security; natural disaster management; and the management of the environment. CDB therefore, has a vested interest in the well-being of the water and sanitation sector because it is key to us achieving our development mandate,” said L. O’Reilly Lewis, portfolio manager, CDB during the opening ceremony for the CWWA Conference.
The bank sponsored a high level forum (HLF) for water ministers in the Caribbean, which included presentations from CDB representatives, and also engaged with conference attendees at its booth in the exhibition hall.
The high level forum is a key mechanism for water-sector-related policy dialogue, bringing together government ministers and senior officials from across the Caribbean, as well as development partners and key stakeholders.
“CDB was instrumental in the establishment of HLF, playing an integral role in the planning and financing of the first forum in 2005 in Barbados… There is a commonality of challenges facing Caribbean countries and recognition of the fact that the sharing of experiences, expertise and knowledge — including best practices — is key in promoting more strategic approaches at the regional and national levels,” said Daniel Best, director of projects at the CDB.
Topics covered included economic drivers that must be considered in investments in the water and wastewater sector in the Caribbean, promoting the regional water agenda linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (Goal 6) and SAMOA in the context of climate change and disaster reduction and case studies, focusing on drought conditions in Jamaica and the impact of Tropical Storm Erika on the water sector in Dominica. CDB also participated in a panel discussion on how countries can access concessional funding, specifically through the Adaptation Fund, and the Green Climate Fund, which recently accredited the bank as a partner institution.
“This important policy dialogue on climate financing for the water sector is central to the bank’s strategy…This forum provides the bank with a timely opportunity to build awareness of its role as an accredited body to facilitate access to concessional financing from the Adaptation Fund, and the Green Climate Fund, for much needed water infrastructure investments in the Caribbean,” said Best.
The CWWA conference took place from October 25-27, in Trinidad and Tobago. This is the 25th year that the conference is being held.
Credit: Caribbean News Now!
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is now an accredited partner institution of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Through the accreditation, CDB now has better access to funding to support low-emission and climate-resilient programmes and projects in its borrowing member countries (BMCs).
“As an accredited partner institution of the GCF, CDB has the opportunity to mobilise and improve the flow of resources to its BMCs to tackle the pressing challenges of climate change. This accreditation will help us build on the work CDB is already doing to help communities across the Caribbean improve their resilience to natural hazards, reduce their electricity bills through the adoption of green energy solutions, and accelerate economic and social development across our region,” said Dr William Warren Smith, president, CDB.
As part of the accreditation process, CDB was assessed on a range of criteria against the standards of the GCF. The Fund examined the Bank’s policies, procedures, track record, and capacity to undertake projects and programmes using various financial instruments. In addition, the assessment evaluated CDB’s capacity to manage environmental and social risks and gender concerns.
The GCF was created by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2010, and is a leader in the global response to climate change. The Fund places particular focus on the needs of societies that are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including small island developing states.
The announcement of CDB’s accreditation by the GCF was made earlier this month at the 14th meeting of the Fund in Songdo, Korea, where it is headquartered. This follows CDB’s accreditation by the Adaptation Fund (AF) in May 2016, which also improved the Bank’s access to resources to address climate change and mitigate the impact on its BMCs.
Partnerships with institutions like the AF and the GCF help CDB accelerate progress on meeting the targets articulated in its climate resilience strategy. One of these targets is assisting BMCs and regional institutions to mobilise financing and implement strategies, which enable BMCs to achieve their sustainable development objectives.
Credit: Caribbean News Now
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) agenda for reducing risks and building resilience in the region got a much-needed boost recently. Twenty-three disaster risk management and community development professionals from 15 countries gathered at the headquarters of Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for an intensive five-day workshop on project design and implementation organised by Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (CDRRF).
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the workshop, CDB’s vice president for operations emphasised the need for a broader reach and deepened relations with borrowing member countries (BMCs).
“We want to optimise the facility provided by CDRRF to assist in building capabilities at the community level. We see the need for CDRRF when we consider the fact that communities can be affected extensively by the impact of natural hazards. That they can be displaced, experience disruption in livelihoods and even have security and personal safety reduced. The need to help build community resilience becomes quite evident. CDB is keen on consolidating its relationship with BMCs,” stated Patricia McKenzie.
CDB’s commitment to strengthening national mechanisms for community resilience building was bolstered by the synergies created with the support of international development partners with a shared vision for the region. The harmonisation has resulted in increased investments in initiatives for disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA).
The region’s disaster management agency echoed those sentiments.
“Communities are the first line of defence in preventing disasters. It is, therefore, essential to deepen engagement beyond disaster management offices. There is an urgent need to participate with community actors to reduce risks and build capacity and resilience,” noted Ronald Jackson, executive director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).
He went on to make a case for more targeted investments in CCA.
“The Caribbean accounts for less than one percent of greenhouse emissions yet most climate change-related projects are heavily concentrated on energy emissions. Resources must be more effectively used. Focus must be shifted to dealing with the every-day present and future risks to lives and livelihoods. Strengthened and sustained community resilience is one of the key priority areas within the comprehensive disaster management strategy. It is an area in which CDEMA has made significant investments in the past and continues to support based on requests from member states,” Jackson said.
The aim of the workshop, which was facilitated by David Logan, was to broaden participant’s view of CDRRF and increase their capacity to assist community groups to design local solutions that meet CDRRF’s funding criteria.
As such, participants were exposed to exclusive content for the design and development of CDRRF projects. Topics included the development of performance measurement framework and the importance of identifying correct indicators. Other areas of learning covered designing work breakdown structure and procurement plans as well as undertaking social and gender analyses as participants were exposed to the project management cycle.
The workshop further allowed for some focus on environmental impact assessment, project costing and scheduling; all within the framework of DRR/CCA projects. The trainees also benefitted from rich experiences as they delved into live project ideas.
As BMCs move to capitalise on the skills passed on by CDB, it is expected that there will be an influx of innovative and transformative projects with tangible results that can produce lessons for DRR/CCA.
“While you were exposed to CDB’s way, the range of topics remain very useful. The skills garnered will suit the design and implementation of development projects across the board, not just CDB-funded projects”, remarked CDB’s acting director of projects, Andrew Dupigny as he closed the workshop proceedings.
The project design and implementation workshop is the first of its kind for the CDRRF. They will form part of the knowledge management efforts of a wider US$25.78 million grant facility funded by CDB; Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada and Department For International Development of the United Kingdom. CDRRF aims to build community capacity for disaster risk management through adaptation to climate change and reduction of vulnerabilities and building resilience to the impacts of natural hazards.
Credit: Caribbean News Now!
Energy Policy Consultant at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Joseph Williams, believes the Caribbean must move faster towards greater renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
Delivering the feature address at Green Energy Day at the Energy Conference in Port of Spain, Williams said Caribbean countries are not poor in regard to energy. He said in addition to making good economic sense, a green economy paradigm will provide opportunities to reduce carbon emissions.
He called on Trinidad and Tobago to lead the Caribbean into a new age of green energy, changing the way PetroCaribe currently operates. Williams stated that the CDB has opened up many areas of access to assist companies willing to go green.
He stated, “Investing in renewable energy is key. Subsidies have grown over the last few years. CDB is willing to help fund energy efficient projects through things like concessional loans.”
The Policy Consultant outlined a number of areas that still needed to be addressed including the need for policies, a raft of incentives and the lack of capacity in critical areas. He urged all nations to get involved stating, “Renewable energy is not the business of one country, it is the business of all countries.”
Meanwhile, Business Development Manager at Massy Energy, Dr. Dirk Nuber, said the Caribbean must harness more from the sun in the form of solar energy. He went on to say: “Most countries in the Caribbean still depend on fossil fuels. While many countries are good for solar, they are not using it.” He further added that there is great investment in renewable energy and the Caribbean must start adapting to it.