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An aerial view of Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago. (Photo: london.ac.uk)

IDB loan to help T&T with COVID-19 recovery

An aerial view of Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago. (Photo: london.ac.uk)

A US$100-million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) will help Trinidad and Tobago finance its public health response against the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and implement fiscal and financial measures to offset the negative impact of the pandemic on its economy and the lives of its citizens.

Yesterday, the IDB announced that its board of executive directors had approved the loan with the aim of assisting the twin-island republic to counter the effects of the health and fiscal crisis, as well as prepare the country’s recovery after the pandemic.

“The operation is part of a two-tranche programmatic Policy Based Loan programme approved by the bank…” the IDB said in a press release on its website.

The Inter-American Development Bank (File photo)

“This first operation mainly focuses on supporting policy measures undertaken during the pandemic to promote the availability and efficient execution of resources during the emergency,” the release continues

The second component of the loan programme aims to support household income and business liquidity through the provision of tax refunds, salary relief grants, food stamps, and rental assistance. At the same time, the IDB will help the Trinidad and Tobago Government to improve its capacity to properly identify the beneficiaries for such programmes.

The loan will also facilitate the procurement of medical equipment and hiring of medical staff.

A medical professional dons her personal protective equipment.
(Photo: Caribbean Development Bank)

“Through the provision of technical tools to the Fair Trading Commission for the implementation of the Fair Trading Act (FTA), the operation will also support the goals of the Act: promoting enhanced rivalry in markets, lowering the cost of essential goods for consumers and increasing private sector productivity,” the IDB said.

The IDB loan has a tenor of 20 years, with a grace period of five and a half years and an interest rate based on LIBOR.