Guyana hosts CDB’s 305th Meeting of Board of Directors

The CDB meeting in session

The Government of Guyana is hosting the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) 305th Meeting of the Board of Directors (BOD) in conjunction with its Preparatory Meeting of the Contributors to the Special Development Fund (SDF), eleventh cycle, slated to last from March 19-21, 2024, at the Guyana Marriott Hotel.

The delegations visiting Guyana include the Board of Directors of the CDB and several high-level representatives from the CDB’s member countries and global institutions.

The SDF 11 Contributors meeting will allow for the Bank to actively mobilise financing to continue its SDF, which is an integral element of the Bank’s poverty reduction and sustainable development efforts.

The SDF is the largest pool of concessionary funds from the CDB and remains crucial in addressing poverty and human development challenges throughout the Caribbean Region.

Key sectors which have benefitted from SDF investment and interventions include education, climate change, capacity building in government and national institutions, poverty reduction, water security, economic infrastructure, and connectivity. The Contributors meeting will be followed by a day of site visits to SDF-funded projects in Guyana. It will also be preceded by the March meetings of the BOD.

CDB officials at the meeting on Tuesday

Guyana is notably one of the founding members of the CDB, having joined in 1970 and the Bank has been a leading partner in the country’s development over the past half-century. CDB funding in Guyana has been used for social and economic infrastructure, including schools, water systems and climate-resilient roads.

Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh had previously highlighted the excellent working relationship between the Government of Guyana and the CDB, and the Bank’s valuable support provided over the years.

Major CDB project approvals in Guyana include US$190 million for upgrading 121 kilometres of roadway from Linden to Mabura Hill – the largest ever project in the Bank’s history. The development of this all-weather road will bolster trade and commerce to unlock the vast opportunities in linking Guyana with Brazil. The improved road network will also support ease of travel, the transport of goods and the provision of services between hinterland communities and Georgetown.

In addition, the CDB is also supporting Guyana in the vast potential of the tourism and hospitality industry with the construction of a US$11.6 million Hospitality and Tourism Training Institute. This facility is intended to facilitate the training of persons to equip them with the necessary skills and qualifications to supply some of the demands required in the country’s tourism and hospitality sector.

In 2023, US$76.2 million was approved for the Guyana Water Supply Improvement project to allow for major upgrades to the water supply systems serving five coastal communities. The infrastructure development initiative involves the construction of five water treatment plants, complete with storage tanks, and the installation of transmission mains and water meters. Nearly 15,000 households in these communities will benefit from the interventions.

The CDB is a regional financial institution, which was established by an Agreement signed on October 18, 1969, and entered into force on January 26, 1970, to contribute to the harmonious economic growth and development of member countries in the Caribbean, and promote economic cooperation and integration among them.