Saturday, April 13, 2024

Recovery path

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The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) recorded a strong recovery in loan approvals and disbursements in 2013.
It said sustained improvements in global growth and the strengthening of regional economic performance as well as improved efficiencies and strengthening of internal controls provided the backdrop for the turnaround in bank operations during the year.
Loan approvals totalled US$139 million, up 34 per cent from US$104 million in 2012. Similarly, total disbursements amounted to US$186 million in 2013, some 60 per cent above disbursements of US$116 million in 2012.
Officials explained that the bank’s interventions in human resource development in its borrowing member countries continued to promote the development of the skills and competencies required to foster growth.
This emphasis is consistent with CDB’s commitment to expanding the pool of Caribbean citizens capable of leading productive lives in an internationally competitive environment.
The investments in education and training in 2013 were, therefore, channelled in two complementary pathways for economic growth and competitiveness.
First, CDB continued to support expanding the quality of basic education, so that graduates can successfully transition to higher education and training opportunities or acquire skills for entry level employment.
An amount of US$24.5 million was approved for both Antigua and Barbuda and the Republic of Haiti to enhance instructional effectiveness and expand opportunities for children to complete primary and secondary education.
Second, US$22.8 million was approved for post-secondary and tertiary education in Anguilla and the University of the West Indies’ Open Campus programme.
“Agriculture represents an important vehicle for reinvigorating regional economic growth whilst reducing unemployment and poverty rates.
As part of a broad strategy to encourage the expansion of traditional export crops where viable markets exist, strengthen agro-tourism linkages and promote the development of non-traditional high value products, CDB has been emphasising  agricultural research and development and building climate resilience,” the financial institution said.
“In this regard, the bank approved a US$625 000 grant to the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute for the development of an integrated disease management programme for controlling black Sigatoka disease in Dominica, Guyana, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The disease has the potential to devastate the banana and plantain industries in the region.”
This information and more related to the CDB’s operations were addressed by its president Dr Warren Smith and other officials at a media conference last week. (SC/PR)

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