(GUYANA CHRONICLE) – CARIBBEAN Development Bank (CDB) Director of Economics, Dr. Justin Ram, has talked up the need to improve employment opportunities and the quality of life for Caribbean citizens.
“The Caribbean Development Bank underscores the need to build inclusive and resilient economies, to improve employment opportunities and quality of life for Caribbean citizens. Such economies are characterised by sound macroeconomic management, environmental preparedness, human development, productivity, and competiveness,” Dr. Ram said on Tuesday at the Bank’s Annual News Conference held in Barbados.
Reviewing the assistance CDB provided to help countries build resilient economies, the director highlighted two operations in The Bahamas and Barbados.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, CDB approved a US$450M policy-based loan for The Bahamas.
“Our intervention will help fund the recovery while keeping necessary reforms on track,” stated Dr. Ram.
CDB continues to support the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation programmer by providing a second US$75M policy-based loan to strengthen public finances and improve the business environment.
“The loan will help protect the most vulnerable in society, by helping strengthen social protection systems and by improving capacity within relevant ministries,” stressed the CDB director of economics.
The bank is assisting Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) to improve their service delivery and implementation.
In Saint Lucia, a Performance Management Delivery Unit was created last year in the Office of the Prime Minister to deliver agreed results in areas such as agriculture, crime, education, health, infrastructure, and tourism.
With regards to knowledge products, CDB’s updated Multidimensional Vulnerability Index has the potential to broaden BMCs’ access to concessional finance, regardless of income per capita.
Going forward, Dr. Ram said the bank’s research will examine the benefits of equal opportunity in terms of economic competitiveness and improved social outcomes; explore enhanced regional integration through factor mobility; consider how inclusivity and resilience might be undermined by crime; focus on measurement of the blue economy and the potential of marine renewable energy; and recommend innovative financing mechanisms for building resilience.