CDB approves US$306 million in loans and grants in 2016
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) says that in 2016 they recorded the highest approval total during the past five years in loans and grants to member countries.
News of this from the bank’s President Dr. Warren Smith as he addressed the CDB Annual News Conference on Friday.
Total approvals including US$45 million in grants but excluding (UK CIF approvals) reached US$306 million compared with US$292 million in 2015 and US $270 million in 2014.
Sixteen capital loans, two policy-based loans and 84 technical assistance interventions were approved in 2016. Belize, St. Lucia and Suriname were the three main beneficiaries of those new loans, he said.
Dr Smith says of special note is the approval of US$15.3 million for the Bank’s first geothermal project under the new CDB GeoSmart Initiative.
“If exploratory and production well drilling results are favourable and feasibility is demonstrated, this could be a game- changer for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and significantly reduce that country’s fossil fuel imports; increase its energy security; and create opportunities for exporting electric energy,” he explained.
He said the bank reached noteworthy milestones in deepening their strategic partnerships and successfully mobilising financial resources that the Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) can use to craft appropriate responses to their development challenges.
He has reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to drive sustained and inclusive income growth, complemented by improvements in living standards in its BMCs, noting that it is critical, “as economic growth across the Region remains uneven, with fragile recovery expected to continue into 2017.”