$200b to finance ecosystem in region

A $200 billion financing ecosystem is to be mobilised among a series of five initiatives intended to sustainably rescue, recover and reposition the development of Barbados and its other 18 borrowing member countries.

The initiative was outlined yesterday by Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) president Dr Gene Leon.

He told the bank’s annual news conference that with the COVID-19 pandemic having “debilitated our region”, countries had “not merely to recover lost ground or to close the distance to achieving the sustainable development goals”, they also had to “fundamentally alter the development path so that our societies can be placed on a higher and more sustainable welfare path in the future”.

Leon proposed that this be done by fostering learning and health networks, driving economic diversification through embracing innovation, mainstreaming climate adaptation and sustainable energy, improving governance and reducing the implementation capacity deficit, and developing an innovative financing eco-system that distinguishes financing for rescue, financing for recovery, and financing for repositioning.

On the latter, he explained: “It is a financing ecosystem to the extent that we are saying that if we are to mobilise adequate finance we need to have instruments but we need to also have a regulatory system and we need to have the appropriate market infrastructure and conditions.” He saw the need for up to $200 billion to achieve the five areas outlined.

We have to be able to draw in funds from many sources, both donors, public, philanthropists and private sector as a means of beginning to make that dent in mobilising the extent of finance that we do need for the next…decade”.

“Financing for rescue needs to be highly flexible and targeted for meeting liquidity needs arising from emergencies, especially natural hazards, be sufficient, have minimum conditionalities and with automatic triggering for fast-paced disbursement,” he said. (SC)

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