CDB, AFD and EU strengthen partnership to build climate resilience

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Vice-President (Operations) of the Caribbean Development Bank, Monica La Bennett (center) and Philippe La Cognata, Atlantic Regional Director, Agence Française De Développement (right) sign the finance agreement. At left, Ambassador Daniela Tramacere, Head of the European Union Delegation to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM and CDB Senior Legal Counsel Dave Waithe (second from left) look on

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — €3 million has been added to the efforts to create a more a more climate-resilient Caribbean region.

Officials of the Agence Française De Développement (AFD), and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) signed a finance agreement on January 25, 2019, which 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).

Monica La Bennett, vice-president (operations), CDB, in welcoming the new funding, noted that the agreement built on “longstanding partnerships between CDB and both the EU and AFD.”

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.

Philippe La Cognata, Atlantic regional director, AFD, said his agency was looking forward to strengthening its partnership with CDB as it pursued the goals of its new 2018-2022 strategy. Under the strategy, new regional policy directions have been created, with the Atlantic Direction 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,” La Cognata stated.

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,” the vice-president said.

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