CDB President concludes official visit to Haiti

On August 30, Dr. Wm. Warren Smith, President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), concluded an official visit to Haiti, during which he reaffirmed CDB’s commitment to support the country in meeting its development goals.

The visit was his first since the new Haitian administration, led by His Excellency Jovenel Moïse, took office in February 2017. Smith, accompanied by Monica La Bennett, Vice-President (Operations), 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) in December 2017. We are proud of the Bank’s record in Haiti, since welcoming the country to the membership of CDB in 2007. In the last 10 years, the Bank has collaborated with successive governments to promote sustainable and balanced economic growth and development,” said Dr. Smith.

“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 added. 

A delegation of specialists from CDB’s Operations Area arrived in Haiti before the President to meet with key officials and stakeholders to initiate discussions about a new Country Strategy for the period 2017-2021. The new Country Strategy Paper is scheduled to be presented to the Bank’s Board of Directors for approval in October.

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 USD119 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 USD45 million was approved under the ninth cycle of the Fund.

The Bank’s 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.