The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) says it has started a new cycle of engagement with Haiti, following the approval by contributors of the Special Development Fund 9 (SDF9) in December last year.
CDB President Dr Warren Smith has ended a visit to the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country, during which he reaffirmed CDB’s commitment to support the country in meeting its development goals.
A CDB statement issued here Thursday, said that the visit was his first since the new Haitian administration, led by President Jovenel Moïse, took office in February this year. Smith, who led a two-member delegation to the country, discussed the bank’s ongoing partnership with Haiti and opportunities for deepening the existing relationship and helping the country to achieve its development priorities.
“CDB has begun a new cycle of engagement with Haiti following the approval by contributors of the Special Development Fund 9 (SDF9). We are proud of the bank’s record in Haiti, since welcoming the country to the membership of CDB in 2007,” Smith said, noting that in the last 10 years, the region’s premier financial institution has collaborated with successive governments to promote sustainable and balanced economic growth and development.
“We have strategically invested grant resources and provided technical assistance to improve socio-economic conditions in Haiti. The bank will continue to emphasise the importance of the design and implementation of country strategies that are developed jointly, and in collaboration with Haitian authorities to reflect their main objectives and medium-term priorities,” the CDB president said. Prior to his arrival in Haiti, a delegation of specialists from CDB’s Operations Area met with key officials and stakeholders to initiate discussions about a new country strategy for the period 2017-2021.
The CDB said that the new Country Strategy Paper is scheduled to be presented to the bank’s board of directors for approval in October. It said that given the special development needs of the country, since joining the bank, Haiti has been allocated only grant resources from CDB’s concessional resource pool, the Special Development Fund (Unified). Under previous cycles of the Fund, a total of US$119 million was committed to Haiti. These resources were used primarily to improve education outcomes and the livelihoods of residents in rural Haiti, build capacity, and enhance private sector performance. Earlier this year, an indicative resource envelope of US$45 million was approved under the ninth cycle of the Fund.
The CDB said that its ongoing work in Haiti includes projects in climate resilience; community-based agriculture and rural development; and education, including technical and vocational education and training.
In addition, since May 2013, given Haiti’s fragility and high vulnerability to natural hazards, the Bank has been paying the country’s Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility premiums.
The payments cover Haiti’s earthquake, tropical cyclone and excess rainfall policies. Under this arrangement, the country has received three major payouts, most recently following the passage of Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.
Source/The New York Carib News