BRIDGTOWN, Barbados, February 15, 2019 (CMC) – The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) signed a finance agreement with the France-based Agence Française De Développement (AFD), providing three million Euros towards the creation of a more climate-resilient Caribbean region.
The financing agreement will provide grant funding to facilitate the preparation and implementation of sustainable, climate-resilient infrastructure projects in the region. The project will be financed under the European Union-Caribbean Investment Facility (EU-CIF).
CDB Vice-President, Monica La Bennett, said the agreement builds on longstanding partnerships between CDB and both the EU and AFD.
The additional grant funding paves the way for technical assistance that can help CDB’s Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) overcome some of the challenges they face, when seeking to implement climate-resilient projects, a point La Bennett emphasised during the signing ceremony.
“It is well known that CDB’s 19 Borrowing Member Countries are confronted with significant challenges in the design and implementation of projects, due to limited financial, human and technical capacity, which can stymie sustainable economic growth and limit the competitiveness of local economies.
“This facility creates a pathway for us to tackle these issues, and will facilitate the preparation and implementation of sustainable, climate-resilient infrastructure projects, within our BMCs, with particular emphasis on the energy, transportation, and water and sanitation sectors,” said La Bennett.
Nearly three years ago, CDB and the AFD signed an agreement for a US$33 million credit facility, which provided financing for projects supporting climate resilience. Several projects funded under that facility are currently being implemented around the Caribbean.
The AFD Atlantic Regional Director, Philippe La Cognata, said his agency was looking forward to strengthening its partnership with CDB, as it pursues the goals of its new 2018-2022 strategy. Under the strategy, new regional policy directions have been created, with the AFD Atlantic Regional office, based in Fort-de-France, Martinique, covering 13 territories in the Caribbean.
“One of our main goals, through this geographic reorganisation, is to reinforce our partnerships at the local level and to bring our overseas territories closer to their Caribbean neighbours, dealing with similar issues and vulnerabilities, specifically climate change. The credit line to the CDB, alongside the technical assistance facility, perfectly illustrates this goal,” stated La Cognata.