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IDB supports regional economy

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has earmarked at least $500 million to help the Caribbean mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19 and will be reframing its regional strategy to focus on supporting SMEs and building capacity in the most vulnerable sectors of the region's economy. 

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TheBahamasInvestor.com
Thursday, April 2, 2020
Thursday, April 2, 2020

IADBThe Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has earmarked at least $500 million to help the Caribbean mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19 and will be reframing its regional strategy to focus on supporting SMEs and building capacity in the most vulnerable sectors of the region’s economy.

Speaking during a recent webinar, IDB Invest CEO James P Scriven said the bank would deploy $5 billion to help address the crisis, at least $500 million of which would be disbursed in the Caribbean. He said the IDB is focused on healthcare and education, as well as those industries that contribute most to island economies such as tourism and agriculture.


“We have a very long-term view of development and, as such, are not worried or scared about the economic cycles we are living through. We have a big counter-cyclical role so this is a time when institutions step up to invest more rather than less,” said Scriven, who also stressed the importance of building resilience in trade and strengthening supply chains to keep the Caribbean connected throughout the crisis.

Small and medium-sized entreprises (SMEs) are also on the IDB’s agenda as the most at-risk segment of the private sector. Scriven said the bank will address this by continuing to work with domestic institutions to channel funding to SMEs.

Therese Turner-JonesThe IDB is now looking to redirect resources from its existing country portfolios, according to general manager of the IDB’s Caribbean Department Therese Turner-Jones (pictured) who added: “Our role as a multi-lateral institution that’s been in this region for over 50 years is to provide as much support as possible.”

She noted that the IDB would coordinate with the World Bank to ensure a cohesive approach to development assistance, saying: “It only makes sense. Rather than have many different organisations tripping over each other, it is much better to collaborate. It is a good example of international cooperation and partnership out of necessity.”

Royal Caribbean International has said it remains "committed" to The Bahamas as the cruise giant realigns its strategic priorities in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Caribbean should prepare for an upswing in tourism once the coronavirus pandemic has abated, according to former Minister of Tourism Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace (pictured) who said this week that islands should take this opportunity to "get their houses in order" so they can maximise the industry when travel resumes.

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