The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has announced a USD106.5 million (mn) programme of assistance for The Bahamas, over the period 2018-2022. The programme is outlined in a new Country Strategy Paper for the country, which was approved by CDB’s Board of Directors on October 25.
“This Strategy has been designed in collaboration with the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and aims to help the country achieve its medium-term development objectives. As such, we focus on areas that are considered critical to inclusive growth, such as the provision of quality climate resilient infrastructure, energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as governance and human capital improvement,” said Dr. Justin Ram, Director, Economics, CDB.
The Strategy is built around three key pillars.
- Environmental Protection and Infrastructure Enhancement
CDB-supported interventions will build economic resilience to weather-related shocks, with the aim of minimising post-disaster spending and maintaining macroeconomic stability in the event of a natural disaster. In addition, the Bank will focus on projects that increase energy efficiency and renewable energy, to improve public-sector efficiency.
- Inclusive Social Development
Under this pillar, CDB will support interventions that target the creation of a certified, skilled and employable workforce. Projects will complement existing activities, and provide solutions to create an inclusive and effective education system, which responds to the learning needs of all citizens.
- Improved Governance and Productivity
CDB support will focus on reform in areas such as public policy capacity and project implementation capacity. Additional interventions will address skills shortages, and improved access to finance for MSMEs, in order to improve productivity and competitiveness.
Gender equality, energy security and citizen security will also be mainstreamed across all CDB interventions during the strategy implementation period.
This Country Strategy follows the previous Strategy for the period 2013-2017, which had a resource envelope of USD80.7 mn. Under this new programme of assistance, individual projects which align with the Strategy will be presented to the Bank’s Board of Directors for approval. Once approved, funds will be disbursed on completion of specific conditions.
The proposed Strategy is aligned with CDB’s strategic objectives of supporting inclusive and sustainable growth and development, and promoting good governance.