The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to strengthen their ongoing partnership in addressing the Caribbean's development priorities.
Through the MOU, signed at the IDB's headquarters in Washington, D.C. on February 21, 2017, both institutions have renewed their commitment to collaborating on programmes and projects that contribute to sustainable economic development in the region. The agreement formalizes their cooperation in CDB borrowing member countries that are also members of the IDB, and countries in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Through a unique charter provision, IDB resources are channelled to OECS countries that are not members of the Washington-based Bank, through CDB.
Dr. William Warren Smith, President, CDB (left) and Luis Alberto Moreno, President, IDB (right), sign an MOU to strengthen their ongoing partnership in addressing the Caribbean's development priorities during a ceremony at IDB's headquarters in Washington, D.C. on February 21, 2017.
'The MOU embodies the common vision for the sustainable development of the Caribbean that IDB and CDB share. I expect then, that the MOU will provide the framework for us to work collaboratively and creatively, over the next decade and a half, to facilitate the attainment of the development agenda; and accelerate the transformation of these countries,' said CDB President Dr. William Warren Smith.
'We have had a singularly close and forward-looking partnership with the CDB for four decades. We now have an opportunity to strengthen those bonds and take on our shared challenges with renewed optimism,' said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno.
Dr. William Warren Smith, President, CDB (left), greets Luis Alberto Moreno, President, IDB (right), during the ceremony at IDB's headquarters in Washington, D.C. on February 21, 2017.
CDB and IDB presently collaborate on a number of initiatives, including in the areas of renewable energy and private sector development for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
The Sustainable Energy Facility (SEF) for the Eastern Caribbean is one of these initiatives. Launched in October 2015, the US$42 million package includes loan, grant and contingently recoverable grant resources from the IDB, provided to CDB as the executing agency, which also committed US$30 million of its own resources. Most of the funding is for supporting geothermal energy development in five of the six Eastern Caribbean beneficiary countries under SEF: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In 2016, the IDB secured an additional US$80 million for the programme from the Green Climate Fund for SEF, to be intermediated via CDB. The programme will provide financing mechanisms to fund geothermal energy projects, and aims to also mobilize private sector capital and expertise required to complete such projects.
Compete Caribbean, another collaboration between the two institutions, moves into its second phase this month. This private sector development programme responds directly to the region's need to drive private sector growth. Compete Caribbean provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support development policies, business climate reforms and SME development activities. The programme is jointly funded by CDB, IDB, the United Kingdom's Department for International Development and the Government of Canada. Compete Caribbean projects in OECS countries are implemented by CDB.
The MOU was signed by President Smith, on behalf of CDB, and President Moreno, on behalf of IDB. The ceremony was also attended by CDB Director of Projects Daniel Best, CDB General Counsel Diana Wilson Patrick, and Therese Turner-Jones, General Manager of IDB's Caribbean Country Department.