Sat | Dec 4, 2021

IDB commits US$75 million to boost Jamaica’s COVID-19 response

Published:Friday | March 12, 2021 | 9:37 AM
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Country Representative and Caribbean Department Manager, Therese Turner-Jones. She said that the loan is being provided at a crucial point in Jamaica’s COVID-19 response as the Government embarks on a national vaccination programme to save lives - Contributed photo.

Jamaica’s capacity to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been further boosted through a US$75-million loan commitment from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

An IDB communiqué on Thursday indicated that the provision is earmarked to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of public policy and fiscal management, in response to the health and economic crises resulting from COVID-19.

The allocation, the first of two policy-based loans, is intended to promote the availability and timely execution of public resources to respond to the pandemic.

According to the communiqué, it will strengthen the countercyclical effect of fiscal policy through the introduction of temporary measures to protect the income of vulnerable households and increase liquidity for businesses during the crisis.

The loan is also intended to promote post-COVID-19 economic and fiscal recovery.

It will help finance cash transfers to employees, grants to low-income informal workers, vulnerable groups, and the unemployed, and provide student loan relief.

Additionally, it is aimed at supporting small-business grant programmes, especially in the tourism sector, and measures to strengthen fiscal institutions to improve efficiency and transparency of public investment.

It is also intended to aid in the formulation of strategies and public policy responses to limit the economic fallout of the crisis and bolster subsequent economic and fiscal recovery efforts.

IDB Country Representative and Caribbean Department Manager, Therese Turner-Jones, said the loan is being provided at a crucial point in Jamaica’s COVID-19 response as the Government embarks on a national vaccination programme to save lives and takes steps to ramp up activities in the face of the economic fallout experienced in 2020.

“I am hopeful that these resources will help both the health and well-being of the country,” Turner Jones said.

- JIS News

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