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

UK pledges £21m to CDB’s Special Development Fund

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

The United Kingdom has committed to replenishing the Caribbean Development Bank’s Special Development Fund with £21m over the next four years as it continues to support life-changing projects in the Caribbean.

This commitment comes less than a year after the UK Government announced £4.5 million in additional funding to the Special Development Fund, in September 2020, to support countries in the region with their COVID-19 recovery.

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

During a pledging conference on January 29, the UK committed to maintain its share of funding to the Special Development Fund, which provides loans and grants to support projects that tackle poverty, inequality and global challenges such as climate change and access to quality education in the most vulnerable countries in the region.

In Haiti, example, the Caribbean Development Bank 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 six and 12 years old to access primary education, have supported over 260,000 children to complete their primary education,” a press release the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and development office outlined

Schoolchildren from Nippes, Haiti (File photo)

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.

With the pledged funding, Caribbean countries can expect 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.

The Special Development Fund requires replenishment every four years.