‘One Caribbean’ IDB strategy to address unique regional challenges

See below full release from the Ministry of Finance: 

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance and the Public Service, Dr. Ashni Singh, is currently attending the 2024 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and IDB-Invest underway in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

The meetings are being held between the period March 6-10. The fora will include discussions by economic and financial leaders from the 48 member countries of the IDB about the challenges and opportunities for development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Boards of Governors are the highest authority responsible for the governance of the IDB and IDB Invest. Most are ministers of finance, ministers of the economy, or central bank presidents of their countries.

One Caribbean Strategy

During the proceedings on Friday in Punta Cana, the IDB launched its One Caribbean Strategy and in a Joint Statement on the Regional Programme, IDB Governors for the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago committed to intensifying joint efforts to continuously improve the living conditions of citizens in the Caribbean region.

We agree that there is a need to address the unique challenges of our region; and an opportunity to focus on the most pressing ones: high climate vulnerability and low resilience, low productivity, vulnerability to price shocks and food insecurity, large infrastructure gaps, limited implementation capacity, and citizen and business security,” the Joint Statement read.

The statement also included recognition of the longstanding experience of the IDB Group in the region, including its strong presence in the countries of the region, its technical expertise, its regional integration mandate, and its role as a platform to leverage and channel donor resources’.

The IDB’s One Caribbean Strategy aims to support sustainable development in the Caribbean as it concluded that the best way forward is through collective actions that boost regional knowledge, improve resilience, and unlock financial resources to support the Caribbean’s sustainable development.

Governors of the Caribbean Region have endorsed the One Caribbean which is aimed at addressing the interconnected nature of the challenges facing the region, promoting actions to support climate adaptation, disaster risk management and resilience; citizen security; private sector engagement in the economy; and food security—all enabled through digital transformation and the strengthening of institutions; supporting the development of a ONE Caribbean regional Project Preparation Facility and execution model to help structure and finance projects that emerge as national and regional priorities, investments, including through Public-Private Partnerships and embracing the development of national digital and resilient investment plans, that will include financially viable projects and areas to engage public and private investments, with a regional impact.

The Governors also agreed to the establishment of a Transitory Emerging Need for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean under the IDB’s Ordinary Capital Strategic Development Program, representing a commitment of up to US$ 20 million over five years, to accelerate the advancement of the Programme’s priorities and a Partnership and Resource Mobilization Strategy to help leverage additional funding sources for ONE Caribbean.

While in Punta Canta, Dr. Singh is expected to meet with IDB President Ilan Goldfajn and participate in a number of discussions with some of the key issues to be addressed by Governors being the new IDB Group Institutional Strategy, the capital increase proposal for IDB Invest to implement a new business model that would expand its development impact through the private sector, and new funding for IDB Lab to evolve its business model towards more systemic impact and financial sustainability.

The Annual Meetings take place every year in a member country. This year, as a prelude to the Annual Meetings, Guyana hosted the Twelfth Annual IDB consultation with Caribbean Governors in February. On the sidelines of that engagement, Guyana and the IDB signed several key agreements to advance development in various sectors. Dr. Singh recently explained that Guyana has found a dependable, relevant, and responsive development partner in the Bank for the past 47 years, adding that ‘this relationship has evolved since our membership from concessional lending during periods of challenging economic circumstances to our present reality of being amongst the fastest growing economies in the world’. He noted too that the Bank has remained steadfast in its support to Guyana’s development agenda and has managed to retain its position as Guyana’s largest multilateral lender and main source of external financing. The IDB has been providing major development support to this country through both its public and private sector arms.