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The Bank of Jamaica building in downtown Kingston. (File photo)

World Bank US$70-m loan to aid Jamaica’s economic reform

The Bank of Jamaica building in downtown Kingston. (File photo)

Jamaica will receive US$70 million in budgetary support from The World Bank Group to support its reform programme, as well as to further enhance the country’s gains in fiscal consolidation and sustainable growth.

“Jamaica’s authorities have shown the commitment needed to maintain macroeconomic stability and demonstrated significant progress, including major reduction in public debt.”

— Ozan Sevimli, World Bank resident representative for Jamaica

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors yesterday approved the disbursement of the First Economic Resilience Development Policy Loan (ERDPL I) through International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The loan will assist the Caribbean country to fulfil its economic reform agenda, while protecting the poor and vulnerable from, among other things, natural disaster risks.

According to Ozan Sevimli, World Bank resident representative for Jamaica, “Jamaica’s authorities have shown the commitment needed to maintain macroeconomic stability and demonstrated significant progress, including major reduction in public debt.

“These efforts will contribute to strengthening the country’s capacity to cope with the threats of natural disasters and public health crises.”

Ozan Sevimli, World Bank resident representative for Jamaica (Photo: Guyana Chronicle)

A three-pronged approach

Specifically, the ERDPL I is geared toward helping Jamaica achieve three main goals: strengthening fiscal sustainability and inclusion; enhancing fiscal and financial resilience against climate and natural disaster risks; and improving the investment climate for sustainable growth.

According to a release from the World Bank, “The first pillar helps strengthen institutional mechanisms for greater fiscal responsibility, while also increasing the effectiveness and sustainability of the social protection system within a sustainable fiscal envelope. The second pillar supports measures to ensure that resources are available in the budget to adequately cope with climate and natural disaster-related shocks.

An aerial view of New Kingston, Jamaica.

“And the third pillar improves policies to reinforce the resilience of Jamaica’s infrastructure to multiple types of disaster risk, including reforms to land titling and to the application approval process for development and building permits, as well as promoting the effective management and sustainable development of fisheries,” it continued.

Jamaica will have 24 years within which to repay the loan with a six-year grace period to begin repayment.