PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – The Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB Group) is holding its XI Annual Consultation with the Governors of the countries comprising its Caribbean Country Department and the president of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) March 5–7 in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
This meeting marks the first official visit of new IDB President, Ilan Goldfajn, to the Caribbean. It focuses on aligning the IDB Group’s and Caribbean countries’ priorities and enhancing partnerships to build resilience in the region. The IDB Group is embarking on a new phase of effective development support for Latin America and the Caribbean that seeks to achieve better social outcomes, including through greater climate resilience and enhanced sustainable digital and physical infrastructure. This consultation aims to consolidate the IDB Group’s support for the Caribbean in preparation for its Annual Meeting in Panama on March 16–19.
In his opening remarks, the IDB president called for a renewed effort to overcome the historic plagues of poverty and inequality, increasing productivity and accelerating growth – all while tackling more frequent climate events and scarce resources. He noted that the IDB is uniquely positioned to support the Caribbean in this effort, adding: “The IDB must help the region raise to its challenges, including the more frequent and costly natural disasters, through innovative and agile ways to prepare, adapt and react.”
Sessions also cover the future value proposition that IDB Lab and the IDB Invest business model hold for the Caribbean, with increased support for private sector partners and greater investment in innovation and sustainability.
Caribbean member countries will be represented by ministers and other high-level Government officials. Also participating in the consultation is a high-level delegation from the CDB, which has a long-standing partnership with the IDB that facilitates support for Eastern Caribbean countries.
The Annual Consultation is also the occasion for loan signings with Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Barbados, as these member countries move ahead with investments to support their needs in areas such as education, health, resilient infrastructure, water and sanitation, or competitiveness of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
In 2022, IDB support to the region included strengthening fiscal sustainability, investing in resilient infrastructure, supporting the development of the blue economy and the social sector, and promoting private sector development. The IDB also backed a range of innovative projects, such as enabling entrepreneurial ecosystems and helping provide housing to vulnerable groups such as women, youths, children, single-parent households, and persons living with disabilities.