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IDB approves US$248m loan for Jamaica

Published:Wednesday | February 28, 2018 | 12:00 AM

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is providing US$248 million in loan support for three government initiatives in Jamaica.

The Washington-based multilateral institution is providing U$160 million for the Public Sector Transformation Project; US$68 million for the controversial National Identification System (NIDS); and US$20 million to further boost national security technology inputs.

Finance and the Public Service Minister, Audley Shaw and IDB President, Luis Alberto Moreno, signed the agreements for the loans yesterday at a ceremony that coincided with the seventh annual IDB Caribbean Governors’ Conference.

Shaw, who emphasised the importance of the public-sector transformation programme, reiterated that 84 State entities are being targeted for closure, divestment, merging or subsuming into Central Government over the next three years.

The Finance Minister said the implementation of NIDS was important for Jamaica, explaining that the concept is similar to the social security number system in the United States.

IDB President Luis Moreno said the bank's latest support forms part of its commitment to assist Jamaica to embark on engagements that will yield higher levels of growth and development.

According to Moreno, Jamaica is experiencing the best moment possible, having become a poster of what a country can do when it decides to take on its problems.

The IDB has indicated that it wants to improve the capacity of the region to tap into technology and apply innovative methods as a means to solve problems, improve productivity, generate employment and advance development.