Sat | Jun 6, 2020

CDB provides US$140 million to counter COVID-19 and disasters

Published:Saturday | April 4, 2020 | 12:00 AMCMC
President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr Warren Smith.

(CMC): The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is making available up to US$140 million to borrowing member countries to mitigate fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and disasters.

President of the CDB, Dr Warren Smith says the pandemic is likely to result in severe social and economic shocks for most Caribbean countries.  

“There is the additional concern that the situation could be exacerbated in the near future given our region’s vulnerability to natural disasters, and with the hurricane season less than two months away. We, at CDB, stand ready to assist Caribbean countries to alleviate these shocks,” he told a meeting in Bridgetown, Barbados earlier this week.

Estimated global growth could decline by one to two per cent, because of COVID-19. For the Caribbean, the impact could be even worse.

“The extent of decline of gross domestic product will depend on the duration of the pandemic and the effectiveness of the policy responses by the countries," Dr Smith said. 

"Our goal is to ensure our borrowing member countries get access to appropriate financing during the COVID-19 pandemic and to be their partner in the post-crisis recovery,” he continued.

The CDB has also increased the limit on its policy-based loans. The  loans are designed to respond to exogenous shocks and to support economic growth and poverty reduction through policy reforms. 

Since the first policy-based loan in 2006, CDB has provided some US$875 million for such loans.

CDB is often the main partner that several borrowing member countries rely on for financing, technical assistance and policy advice during crises.

“The US$140 million allocation is the first of a package of assistance that CDB is developing to assist our borrowing member countries to cope with COVID-19. Our financing and technical assistance, during this period, will be directed mainly towards the most vulnerable within our societies and give the highest priority to strengthening social safety nets,” the CDB president said.

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