Development banks should help the region manage risks

Multilateral development finance institutions are urged to do more to help Barbados and other Caribbean countries manage the devastating impact of a range of external challenges.

Former Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) President Dr. Warren Smith made the call on Thursday when he also drew attention to a number of emerging challenges for the region, including rising commodity prices and increased poverty following the war in Ukraine, continued supply chain disruptions leading to increased food insecurity and reduced availability of subsidies and concessional resources from developed countries.

He explained that it was therefore necessary for the multilateral development banks to employ a number of strategies to help the region manage these risks.

“First, we must accelerate the transition to renewable energies. Mobilization of available grants and highly concessional and innovative financing by Multilateral Development Banks is necessary to accelerate the implementation of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in our member countries,” said Smith.

He also underscored the need for increased technical support for Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states in the area of ​​government policy, regulation, technical training, negotiation and legal skills, as that countries create a more conducive environment for investment in the renewable energy sector.

Smith was speaking at the Chairman’s Talk, which was part of the CBD’s 52nd Annual Meetings and considered the topic Innovative financing for sustainable development: what can multilateral development banks do?

“It is also necessary to increase food security. The focus on supporting increased intra-regional food production and trade is one of the opportunities. This involves looking at the infrastructure needed to facilitate transport from farm to market and export,” Smith said.

Referring to the recent Guyana Agribusiness Investment Forum and Expo, which looked at the issue of food security and Guyana’s ability to produce for the rest of the region, Smith said, “This is, I think , a good starting point.

However, he suggested, “it’s going to need multilateral support and I think it’s a great time for us to engage in that kind of effort.”

Following the meeting, Prime Minister Mia Mottley indicated that rapid transport of products would be essential to strengthen food and nutrition security in the region, while alluding to future opportunities for this type of transport, as it indicated that CBD should provide some support for improvement. modes of transport.

A Guyana/Barbados food terminal is to be established through which Barbados would act as a hub for transshipment of agricultural products between the island and CARICOM. (MM)

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