Four Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) member countries including Saint Lucia will benefit from a US$20 million loan between the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
The CDB will provide the funds for the financing of public sector projects in Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The new approved programme will help address the social and economic challenges of these non-IDB member countries, constrained by their limited access to longer-term and lower-cost credit resources. These small open economies are also vulnerable to external economic shocks and natural disasters.
Gerald Johnson, signatory on behalf of Inter-American Development Bank and Caribbean country manager, says this concessionary agreement provides targeted and undiluted support to territories seeking financial assistance.
“We don’t lend money on any better terms than this without giving it away. The CBD, to keep that level of concessional and pass it on – in other words the cost of managing this programme – is being swallowed to give that benefit undiluted to the beneficiary countries,” he said.
The approved programme will be financed by US$14 million from the IDB’s ordinary capital and US$6 million from the bank’s fund for special operations with a paying back period of 30 and 40 years, respectively.
Vice President of Caribbean Development Bank Carla Barnett anticipates a smooth and effective transfer of funds to provide relief to these financially-burdened OECS countries.
“This follows in the tradition of co-operating quite closely in all of the OECS countries. We do a few regional projects together and we are hoping that we can get this particular line of credit moving fast,” Barnett said.
Resources will be allocated by CDB based on its country strategy and programming processes.
The deal was signed during the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Caribbean Development Bank Board of Governors at Sandals Grande in the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia.
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