CDB Committed to Supporting Development, Resilience Agendas of Montserrat
(Caribbean Development Bank Press Release) Supporting and finding innovative solutions for countries like Montserrat that are confronted with the dual challenges of being a small state and facing significant environmental hazards, remain high on the agenda for the Caribbean Development Bank.
This was the message coming from President of the Bank, Dr. Gene Leon, on the occasion of his first official visit to the state since being appointed to lead the Bank in May 2021.
“Supporting the resilience agenda of our Borrowing Member Countries is a significant area of focus for us at CDB. It has to be. Our BMCs [Borrowing Member Countries] face unique challenges as small countries with high vulnerability to climate change and natural and environmental hazards. These can make it difficult to fully pursue our development agendas yet because of the criteria we are assessed by, our BMCs face challenges in unlocking the kind of concessional financing they need,” noted Dr. Leon.
He affirmed CDB’s commitment to supporting the development and resilience agendas of Montserrat, both through financing and through advancing solutions such as the Bank’s Recovery Duration Adjuster mechanism which specifically address the needs of Small Island Developing States. The visit included the CDB President’s first meeting with Montserrat Premier Hon. Joseph Farrell, who was accompanied by a high-level delegation, including the island’s Financial Secretary Hon. Lindorna Lambert and Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Premier Mrs. Daphne Cassell.
During the visit, the CDB President, along with Senior Advisor Dr. Shelton Nicholls, held discussions with the Premier and senior officials. Dialogue focused on the Government’s economic objectives and priorities and how CDB can support through its assistance and lending programmes.
The CDB delegation also had the opportunity to tour several projects that have been funded by the Bank in recent times, particularly through its Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF). Sites included the Old Salem Primary School which is to be refurbished and renovated into a community centre under the BNTF programme, various road projects and the Davy Hill Community Centre. Montserrat is one of the founding members of CDB, having joined in 1970.
In 2017, the Bank approved £14.4 million in grant funding for the Little Bay Port Development project, one of the largest projects in recent history in the country. The project, which was launched in 2019 and is ongoing, is funded by the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Fund (UKCIF) which is administered by CDB. Once completed, the new port will be able to accommodate larger cruise ships and hence more cruise passengers. The project also includes new cargo handling equipment for the Montserrat Port Authority and capacity building opportunities.