7th March, 2008
March 7, 2008No. 4/08-BD CDB to Finance Project Cycle Training for Haitian Public Sector Officials The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved financing equivalent to USD1.8 million to finance a training programme for public sector officials in Haiti. The approval was granted at a meeting of the Bank's Board of Directors on March 5, 2008.This funding will be used to engage the services of a consultant to design and prepare training courses in Investment Appraisal and Risk Analysis, and in Project Management; as well as to develop a set of training manuals to enable training on an ongoing basis. It will also finance the participation of 12 Haitian public service officials in a training-of-trainers course in Project Management. A generalised shortage of qualified public servants and the limited technical expertise available at all levels of the public service is compromising the overall efficiency of the operations of the Haitian Government. The intervention by CDB is part of an effort to address this deficiency. CDB also intends to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Government of Haiti in the areas of budgetary planning and execution, investment and project planning, implementation, procurement and participatory monitoring. Haiti officially became a member of CDB on January 19, 2007. Grenada to receive Technical Assistance from CDB CDB is to provide a grant equivalent to USD466,200 to the Government of Grenada to help set up a Project Implementation and Management Unit in that country's Ministry of Communications, Works and Transport.This financing is aimed at helping to address weaknesses in the organisational structure of the Ministry and in the management of major capital projects. The Bank's intervention comes in response to a preliminary assessment of the technical capacity of the Ministry which concluded, among other things, that it is under-resourced and does not have the capacity to undertake its mandate of constructing and maintaining road and bridge infrastructure and public buildings.There are currently six CDB-financed major capital projects under implementation in Grenada. CDB to put More Funds in to Project Management Training for its Borrowing Memeber Countries CDB is to put an additional sum equivalent to USD908,833 into a Project Management Training programme for its Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs). In 2005, the Bank's Board of Directors approved a sum equivalent to USD3.1 million to re-introduce the programme for a period of three years. The programme was designed to address deficiencies and limitation in institutional capacity in the areas of project formulation and implementation in the BMCs. Fourteen of the Bank's 18 BMCs have participated in the training, and interest in the programme is increasing as word of the relevance and value of the various modules are passed on by word of mouth. These additional funds will be used to help meet the costs associated with the delivery of the programme and also the expenses of public sector participants over the next two years.The President notified the Board of Directors of a number of financing initiatives undertaken by the Bank to assist its borrowing member countries (BMCs) since the last meeting of the Board in December: Immediate Response Loan to Jamaica Following the Passage of Hurricane DeanCDB has provided the Government of Jamaica with an immediate response loan equivalent to USD500,000 for the Construction of emergency sea defence works along Palisadoes tombolo, which was damaged during the passage of Hurricane Dean and subsequent heavy rainfall and flooding between August and December of last year.Hurricane Dean impacted several of CDB's Borrowing Member Countries from August 17 to 21, 2007. Dean passed just south of Jamaica as a Category 4 hurricane, and caused substantial damage to agricultural crops, buildings, utilities, road infrastructure and sea defences.A sum equivalent to USD20,000 was also approved to assist in financing consultancy services to provide independent inspection and certification of works in connection with the project. CDB Provides Support for Pension Reform in the Eastern Caribbean Currency UnionApproval was given for a grant equivalent to USD82,457 to assist the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank in financing the development of a model for pension reform in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union member countries.Research to be undertaken during the course of the project will include the socio-political and economic considerations in designing pension reform programmes; issues and challenges and potential pitfalls in a regional multi-country approach to pension reform; and models of successful pension reform. CDB believes that the benefits of pension reform go beyond preventing and reducing poverty among the elderly, since efficient pension systems are also a major source of funds for capital investment and economic growth in the small economies of the Caribbean. CDB Grant Supports Improving Environmental GovernanceThe President approved a grant equivalent to USD86,445 to assist in implementing a project aimed at building the capacity of the Caribbean Conservation Association (CCA) and its members.This project will include a participatory two-day strategic planning workshop involving key stakeholders in the public sector, civil society and development institutions, and a consultancy that is expected to result in a results-based strategic plan for the CCA.The CCA is a regional environmental umbrella organisation with membership which consists of regional and international governments, non-governmental organisations and individuals. Training for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Cluster DevelopmentThe President approved a grant of an amount not exceeding the equivalent of USD48,800 to assist with the organisation and delivery of a training course on small and medium-sized enterprise cluster development. Cluster firms produce and sell a range of related or complementary products, and so are faced with common challenges and opportunities. Networking offers individual firms to address their problems and to improve their competitive position. This training course was delivered in collaboration with the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organisation, the Business Development Company Limited and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation. It was held in Port of Spain, Trinidad, from November 26-30, 2007.CDB Assists with Measuring Caribbean-specific Millennium Development GoalsFunds equivalent to USD20,000 were approved to finance a meeting of regional statisticians to undertake a review of the proposed Caribbean-specific Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).The Caribbean-specific MDG targets and indicators were identified as key mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating developments in the Bank's borrowing member countries at the national and regional levels. The meeting was held in Barbados January 28 to 30, 2008, to come up with a more feasible and measurable list of indicators and to provide some guidance to BMCs on collecting and disseminating MDG data.