The office of the Caribbean Development Bank in St Michaels, Barbados. (Photo: caribank.org)

Caribbean Development Bank to receive fresh UK funding

The office of the Caribbean Development Bank in St Michaels, Barbados. (Photo: caribank.org)

The Government of the United Kingdom has issued a new order for payments to the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Special Development Fund (SDF).

Approved Under section 11 of the International Development Act, 2002, the order instructs that a sum not exceeding £21 million be provided as a contribution to the tenth replenishment of the SDF. Earlier in the year, during a pledging conference on January 29, 2021, the UK committed to maintaining its share of funding to the CDB’s SDF.

Signage for the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (Photo: https://www.gov.uk/)

The £21m will be disbursed over the next four years to continue to support what is described as life-changing projects in the Caribbean.

The SDF provides loans and grants to support projects in the most vulnerable countries in the region to tackle poverty, inequality, and global challenges such as climate change and access to quality education.

In Haiti, for example, the CDB has worked alongside the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank to improve primary school outcomes. The provision of tuition waivers, which allow students between 6 and 12 years old to access primary education, have supported over 260,000 children to complete their primary education.

An aerial view of Haiti’s second-largest city, Cap Haitien. (Photo: Plan It Smarter)

The fund is replenished every four years and the UK’s pledge cements its position as one of its largest donors.
Countries that will continue to benefit from the fund include Haiti, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.

The commitment followed the announcement of £4.5 million additional funding from the UK Government to the SDF in September 2020 to support countries in the region with their COVID-19 recovery.

The pledged funding is aimed at helping Caribbean countries to better cope with the COVID-19 crisis, help mitigate the wider social and economic impacts, increase funding to tackle climate change, strengthen resilience to disasters, and protect the most vulnerable.