Borrowing Not an Option for Caribbean Countries; Access to Concessional Funding, Debt Relief Urgently Needed to Face COVID-19 Crisis

Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC (Photo via ECLAC)

Caribbean Heads of State and Finance Ministers met with ECLAC’s Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena, to analyze debt relief proposals and other measures to fight the effects of the pandemic.

(ECLAC Press Release) Prime Ministers, Premiers, Finance Ministers, Financial Secretaries, and other high-level government representatives from 15 Caribbean countries held yesterday a virtual meeting with ECLAC, heads of Caribbean regional organizations and representatives of other UN agencies in the subregion to discuss the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their economies, already besieged by both climatic and economic shocks, including heavy indebtedness and high exposure to natural disasters.

The videoconference was presided over by Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), who connected with Heads of State and senior financial decision-makers from ECLAC’s Member Countries and Associate Members in the Caribbean area: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago and United States Virgin Islands.

The meeting was also attended by United Nations’ resident coordinators in the subregion, representatives from other UN System entities such including the  Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) as well as regional intergovernmental organizations including the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF), the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility Segregated Portfolio Company (CCRIF SPC) and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).

Alicia Bárcena was accompanied by the Director of ECLAC’s Subregional Headquarters for the Caribbean in Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago), Diane Quarless, who moderated the dialogue, and other ECLAC experts from that office, including the Director of the Economic Development Division, Daniel Titelman from the Commission’s Headquarters in Santiago, Chile.

Read more at: ECLAC

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