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A residential area in Trinidad and Tobago's capital city of Port of Spain (Photo: World Nomads courtesy iStock/jaysunlp)

IDB loan to support Trinidad and Tobago’s COVID-19 response; housing and urban development

A residential area in Trinidad and Tobago's capital city of Port of Spain (Photo: World Nomads courtesy iStock/jaysunlp)

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has entered into two loan agreements, totalling US$150 million, with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The facade of the Inter-American Development Bank’s headquarters in Washington, DC, United States of America (File photo)

With the loans, the Government of the twin-island republic is aiming to improve housing conditions, invest in urban transformation and respond to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

4,000 households to get help

According to a release from the IDB, “A US$50-million investment loan will support the enhancement of living conditions for low-income households and invest in urban spaces as part of a strategy to foster more sustainable development.”

(File photo)

Under the Urban Upgrading and Revitalization Program, the Trinidad and Tobago authorities will use the proceeds of the loan to enhance the living conditions of at least 4,000 households, support urban renewal on both islands, secure green-building technologies for utility savings, and address the medium-term housing and urban development needs of the country.

Another objective of the loan programme is to connect low-income households with private finance opportunities that will improve their housing conditions.

“The program will be executed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development’s Programme Monitoring, Coordinating and Evaluation Unit and will support their commitment to reduce the qualitative and quantitative housing deficits and revitalize urban centres,” the IDB pointed out.

“A US$50-million investment loan will support the enhancement of living conditions for low-income households and invest in urban spaces as part of a strategy to foster more sustainable development.”

Responding to COVID-19

The second loan is a policy-based loan — Programme to Strengthen Fiscal Policy and Management in Response to the Health and Economic Crisis Caused by COVID-19 In Trinidad and Tobago — with a value of US$100 million.

The IDB release explained that the intervention will support the Government’s ongoing health response to the pandemic through additional hiring of health personnel and purchasing of medical equipment. In addition, the programme aims to strengthen fiscal policy measures to protect vulnerable households and increase liquidity for businesses,  as well as promote economic and fiscal recovery in the post-pandemic period.

A health care worker dons her personal protective equipment. The IDB intervention will support the Government of Trinidad and Tobago’s ongoing health response to the coronavirus through additional hiring of health personnel and purchasing of medical equipment. (Photo: Caribbean Development Bank)

“This second operation will be executed by the Ministry of Planning and Development who will have close coordination with the Ministry of Finance and other relevant ministries and agencies in relation to the policy measures under the loan,” the IDB informed.