The Caribbean Development Bank has approved a number of agreements and funding projects during its annual general meeting.
To help enhance the capacity of countries in the region to further implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, the CDB is to administer funds equivalent to €3.45 million. CDB’s board of directors has approved the management of the bank entering into a contribution agreement with the European Union for a CARICOM Single Market and Economy standby facility. The beneficiaries will be CARICOM member states which comprise CDB’s borrowing member countries and Suriname.
A study commissioned by the CARICOM heads of government in 2009 found inadequate capacity, institutions, administrative practices and procedures, and technical facilities and services, to facilitate the effective operations and sustain implementation of the single market.
The objective of the facility is to support CSME implementation at the national level. Under the terms of this agreement, the European Union will disburse the funds to CDB, based on verifiable demand. It is expected that each CARICOM member state will receive at least one grant under the facility.
These funds are to be used for customised projects aimed for instance at building the administrative capacity of national administrations/agencies involved in CSME implementation, recruitment of short-term consultants and public education.
CDB’s board of directors has also approved the management of the bank entering into a contribution agreement with the European Union for a €3.5 million Economic Partnership Agreement standby facility.
CARICOM member states, which comprise the borrowing member countries of the Caribbean Development Bank, the Dominican Republic and Suriname will be the beneficiaries of funding from the EU.
These funds are to be used by the beneficiary countries for national EPA implementation units; for administrative, technical and other support for national focal points and for technical assistance assignments to advise on or to assist in taking advantage of opportunities under EPA.
Other directly relevant activities to be undertaken by CDB under the terms of the agreement include public education campaigns and interventions aimed at improving the results generated from grants awarded under the EPA facility.
The implementation period of both facilities will be thirty-six months. However, the two parties may agree to an extension.
Member countries of the Caribbean Development Bank will further benefit from financing from the bank for a database system which harnesses the power of advanced information technology to compile and disseminate data related to human development, as reflected in the Millennium Development Goals.
DevInfo is a system developed by the United Nations Children’s Fund. It provides methods to organise, store and display data and metadata in a uniform way with simple and user-friendly features for producing tables, graphs and maps for inclusion in reports, presentations and advocacy materials. The latest version allows for information to be presented at the smallest geographic level available, such as communities and villages. It is also web-enabled, so that data can be easily disseminated via the Internet.
CDB is to provide the equivalent of US$399,165 to the CARICOM Secretariat for implementation of DevInfo in Anguilla, Barbados, Grenada, Montserrat and St. Lucia and the OECS Secretariat. This will constitute Phase 1 of the collaborative intervention involving CDB, UNICEF and CARICOM. The lessons learnt from this phase will inform Phase 2 for the remaining CDB borrowing member countries.
UNICEF will focus on data capture data analysis and the compilation of indicators within the Ministries and agencies which feed the DevInfo application. CDB and CARICOM will address technical challenges to DevInfo implementation by supporting training in each country and regionally. The Bank will focus on three key areas – advocacy and ownership, planning and training.
Belize will be the beneficiary of CDB funds for a traffic improvement project and education sector reform. The objective of the education sector reform project is enhanced learning outcomes across all levels of the education sector and CDB will provide a US$2 million technical assistance loan to finance the initiative.
In addition CDB has approved a $7.248 million loan to the government of Belize for a project to reduce deaths and serious injuries associated with road traffic accidents. Belize has the highest number of traffic deaths per capita of all borrowing member countries.
The project aims at improving the safety of road infrastructure along a demonstration corridor, changing road user behaviour through increased awareness and understanding of the issue, traffic law enforcement support, post-crash response support and road safety management capacity building.