Business View Caribbean | Volume 9, Issue 2

11 BUSINESS VIEW CARIBBEAN VOLUME 9, ISSUE 2 A s the Caribbean faced down the second year of COVID-19 in 2021, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) mobilised over US$80 million specifically to help its Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) meet the increased and changing needs brought on by the pandemic. Speaking at the Bank’s Annual News Conference, Director of CDB’s Projects Department, Mr. Daniel Best described the Bank’s efforts to make the much-needed funding available. “The second year of the COVID-19 pandemic saw our response underpinned by flexibility and dexterity. Wherever possible we worked with our BMCs to redesign on-going operations to meet short-term needs and we built partnerships to leverage additional and concessionary resources to fund national level management and response. The partnerships included collaboration with CARICOM, the OECS Commission, the UWI, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), UNDP, PAHO, the EU, and UKCIF, to name a few,” noted Best. This response included partnering with the IADB to make US$50 million available for health, education, social protection and economic projects in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) member countries and with the European Investment Bank to provide EUR €30 million for vaccines and health-related emergency expenditure throughout CDB’s BMCs. It also included a grants programme implemented by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), which saw US$887,380 in grants issued to 61 small CDB MOBILISED US$80 MILLION IN FLEXIBLE, SWIFT PANDEMIC RESPONSE IN 2021 businesses affected by COVID 19. Overall, CDB approved US$122.6 million in projects in 2021. Loan financing accounted for US$71.2 million, while grant funding was US$51.4 million. Disbursements in 2021 totalled US$256.6 million, with a record US$20 million being disbursed in Haiti. Despite the constraints of the pandemic, several major projects funded by the Bank were completed or under implementation across the Region in 2021. Highlights included: • The completion of the Science and Technology Block at the Dr. JP Eustace OPENING L INES