A US$88.4 million package of development projects, to be implemented in collaboration with the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), will underpin the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) new Country Engagement Strategy (CES).
The roadmap, for the period 2022-26, identifies initiatives which will be financed across a variety of sectors. These projects will seek to address challenges in agriculture, infrastructure, climate change and other multisectoral concerns while building resilience.
The engagement strategy, which will guide the Bank’s interaction with SVG on projects, is informed by CDB and Government determined priorities to meet development targets.
CDB’s Vice-President (Operations) Isaac Solomon, speaking at the launch of the strategy on March 28, 2023, stated that “Through this new and ambitious strategy, the country seeks to support the re-engineering of economic growth; the enabling of enhanced human and social development; while facilitating environmental sustainability and enhancing climate resilience.”
Minister of Finance for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Camillo Gonsalves, who also spoke at the launch, indicated that while CDB has done phenomenal work in engaging with ministries and programming resources to suit the country’s agenda of transformation and resilience, “an injection at this time and an injection into critical areas can transform the developmental trajectory of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines if we sequence our priorities successfully.” He argued that while the strategy aggregated the wants and desires of the government, its successful ownership and implementation requires an understanding of what projects must be undertaken and the requisite resources. He therefore encouraged the team of civil servants and other stakeholders involved in implementation to carefully devise the areas and initiatives to be supported by the strategy.
Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who also delivered remarks at the launch event, encouraged representatives of CDB to provide even more support than the current offering. Citing the USD 250.8 million Kingstown Port Modernisation Project, currently the largest venture in CDB’s portfolio, he affirmed his sustained backing for the regional financial institution, adding that “This period going forward we have to do far better than we are doing, listen more and help to see how we can solve problems better. I am a huge fan of CDB and I want [the Bank] to grow stronger. While Saint Vincent and the Grenadines needs more development funds still the Government and the Bank need to continue to work together for success for our region and our people.”
The CES sets out the tactical direction for CDB’s engagement with the Government of SVG. The approach is guided by the National Economic and Social Development Plan 2013-2025 (NESDP) which defines the country’s development objective as improving the quality of life for all Vincentians. While the approach to implementing this CES will be undergirded by heightened and more meaningful engagement on the programme of projects it remains flexible and will respond to Government’s priorities as circumstances change while remaining aligned with strategy outcomes.
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