Wed | Oct 21, 2020

British government providing funds to assist Caribbean deal with COVID-19

Published:Thursday | August 27, 2020 | 9:13 AM
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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC - Britain is providing £4.5 million to the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Special Development Fund to be used to support countries in the region with their coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery.

The Special Development Fund is CDB’s largest pool of concessionary funds which are used to address poverty and human development challenges throughout the Caribbean and the United Kingdom is already the largest bilateral donor to the region and the second-largest contributor to the Fund.

A statement from the British High Commission said that the new funds follows CDB having recently successfully met agreed upon performance targets.

“This support also follows recent announcements of the UK contributing  three million pounds to the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) for the provision of essential medical supplies in the region and a further two million pounds to the World Food Programme and others to scale up assistance for the most vulnerable households and to counter domestic violence against women and children,” the statement said.

The UK Minister for the Caribbean, Baroness Elizabeth Sugg, said London is proud to support “our Caribbean friends and partners in these challenging times and, in particular, of the excellent work being delivered through the CDB’s concessional Special Development Fund, which targets those most in need.

“We are delighted to approve this further funding to help Caribbean countries better cope with the COVID-19 crisis, mitigate the wider social and economic impacts, and protect the most vulnerable. This support complements the UK Caribbean Infrastructure Fund (UKCIF) which is already supporting critical infrastructure developments across the region”.

The £330 million UK Caribbean Infrastructure Fund, implemented through the CDB, is supporting 15 major infrastructure projects in the region.

In light of COVID-19, UKCIF projects are becoming vitally important as a source for employment, supporting sector developments and facilitating medium-term economic recovery in the region.

As part of its wider response to COVID-19 in the region, the UK is also supporting a range of other partners such as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) with COVID-19 modelling and surveillance.

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