The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has released its 2017 Annual Report, highlighting the institution’s performance, initiatives and results delivered during the year.
In 2017, the Bank approved capital loans and technical assistance interventions totalling USD364M, an increase of 18 per cent compared with 2016.
Disbursements to its Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) rose by 13 per cent to USD233M during the year.
The report also outlined the economic outlook for the Caribbean Region and posited, among other things, that ” in 2017, on average, there was an overall uptick in economic growth of 0.5% in BMCs, led by a rebound in oil prices, and supported by buoyant tourism and construction activities.”
However, “Fiscal balances remained weak in most cases; and public sector debt continued to be worryingly high in many BMCs,” according to the review.
“The Bank was able to respond quickly and meaningfully to the various setbacks and the challenges that Borrowing Member Countries faced during the year. With this level of support, CDB was able to maintain its position as a leading source of long-term development financing and capacity-building in the Caribbean,”said its President Dr Warren Smith.
The Bank forecasts that the regional economy will grow by 1.8% in 2018 due to anticipated improvements in global economic growth, with risks tilted to the downside.
“Mitigating these risks will require improved resilience on many levels. Macroeconomic stability, increased competitiveness, improved human development, and environmental preparedness are conditions that are necessary to improve resilience, and ensure sustainable and inclusive growth and development,” the Report notes.
In the newly released publication, CDB also reports on its project performance across several sectors.
On such area was outlined as Economic infrastructure and according to the CDB, “projects under implementation during 2017 included the construction and upgrading of approximately 32 km of roads, benefitting over 130,000 people in Belize, BVI, Guyana, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
Moreover, in March of 2017, the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) was renewed for a ninth phase, with USD4M in commitments from Contributors. During the year, the Bank approved 18 BNTF sub-projects totalling USD4.76M, spanning education and human resource development, water and sanitation, and basic community access.
Other projects were also undertaken under areas such as Environmental sustainability, Renewable energy and energy efficiency, Regional cooperation and integration, Private sector development, Gender, Education and Agriculture.