45 years of IDB in Jamaica: IDB President to Visit the Island

Special Features

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) was established in 1959 with the aim of supporting efforts by Latin America and the Caribbean countries to reduce poverty and inequality.

IDB is the leading source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean, with a strong commitment to achieve measurable results, increased integrity, transparency and accountability.

In addition to being a bank, the IDB provides grants, technical assistance and conduct research. Forty-eight (48) member countries, including 26 Latin American and Caribbean borrowing members, have a majority ownership of the IDB.

The IDB’s Fund for Special Operations (FSO) provides concessional financing to the most vulnerable member countries.

Related: IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno Visits Jamaica


Basic Facts

President: Luis Alberto Moreno

Membership: 48 countries represented by the Board of Executive Directors

Approved lending and grants in 2013: $14 billion

Employees: About 2,000

Offices: Headquarters in Washington, DC, with country offices in 26 borrowing countries, plus a regional office in Asia and office in Europe.

Clients: Central governments, provinces, municipalities, private firms and non-governmental organizations.


IDB initiatives in Jamaica

The IDB has partnered with Jamaica for 45 years. This has yielded several initiatives which have impacted Jamaica on a macroeconomic level as well as at the individualised socio-economic level.

IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno will visit the sites for two key IDB programmes during his visit to the island on December 18, 2014, the Jamaica German Automotive School and The Caribe Hospitality Programme at the Marriott Hotel in Kingston.

i) Integrated Social Protection and Labor Programme Steps to Work Trainees at Jamaica German Automotive School

Background and Objective

  • The steps to work program is part of the IDB wider support to the Government of Jamaica to promote human capital development and improve welfare to work strategies for the poor and vulnerable. Since 2009 the Bank has approved approximately $145 million in loans towards the broader strategy.


  • Specifically, in 2012 the Bank approved $30 million (Integrated Social Protection and Labor Program) for the conditional cash transfer program, Program for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) and to improve labor market outcomes of PATH beneficiaries.


Project Content/Component

  • This 2012 loan proposes an integrated approach to addressing the needs of the poor and vulnerable and includes; (i) a focus on health and education outcomes of children 0 to 18 years under the PATH program; (ii) improving labor market outcomes of adults in PATH beneficiary households by both class room and on the job training; and (iii) improving active labor intermediation services that also improves employment prospect for the poor.


  • The Bank’s intervention supports the Steps to Work (STW) program which is a pilot designed to facilitate PATH beneficiary household transition to work through several interventions such as on the job training, skills training and remedial training.


  • 20 Steps to work trainees are currently enrolled   in the one year program at the Jamaican German Automotive School (JAGAS) pursuing a course in Motor Vehicle Engine Systems.  The program offers intermediate and advance certification offering both class room and practical training.


  • Once these trainees complete their training they will advance to the second phase of on-the job training in 2015 and to be financed by the IDB program.


  • The JAGAS is sub-program of the wider STW program and is being offered as part of a menu of Customized Integrated Basic Education & Skills Training program that is offered under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)with National Vocational Training Agencies for Steps to Work beneficiaries.


Importance of the Program

  • This project demonstrates that the government is serious about developing stronger linkages between social assistance and employment towards improving employment outcomes of the poor.


  • The bank’s intervention is in line with current evidence that  employment-focused programs generally have larger effects on employment and earnings than do purely education-focused programs


ii) CARIBE HOSPITALITY PROGRAM: Construction of the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Kingston

Background and Objective

  • In November 2014, IDB signed a US$6.75 million loan agreementwith Caribe Hospitality S.A. for the Caribe Hospitality Kingston Program which is to construct a 129 room Marriott Hotel in New Kingston, Jamaica. This Program also secured funding from the World Bank to the tune of US$1 million in equity and US$5.3 million in loan. The total cost of the Program is US$23.7 million.


  • This is the second operation from the Caribe Hospitality Facility, approved by IDB in 2011 to construct limited service hotels in and around the region.


  • This hotel is the first (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building in Jamaica and will set a high standard for energy conservation, water efficiency and overall environmental sustainability.


  • This limited service hotel will focus on business travelers and will be operated by Marriott International.


Project Content/Component

  • The Project will generate significant development impact through the creation of up to 200 jobs during construction and 65 during operations.


  • The Program also includes a Shared Value Approach through its collaboration with two other IDB financed operations; Hospitality Sector SMEs Inclusion Program, which aims to prepare small businesses and other local suppliers to forge ongoing business and operational relations with the hotel and Citizen Security and Justice Program under which 5 youth-at-risk who were trained were given the opportunity to work as interns during the construction phase of the hotel.


  • The Hotel will be the first Marriott flagged hotel to open in Kingston and will meet the need for a brand new internationally recognized hotel in Kingston.


Importance of the Program

  • The IDB continues to have a keen interest in improving the lives of the people of Jamaica. Integral to this is the continuous push for private sector led economic growth. This Program is an ideal example of the kinds of investment required to lead Jamaica to greater economic prosperity. Being the first Marriott Hotel in New Kingston, this will also send a strong signal to investors that Jamaica is open for business.


  • It is also important to the IDB that economic development is done in an environmentally sustainable way. With this hotel being the first LEED certified building in Jamaica, it will establish and promote the need for more eco-friendly practices with similar investment operations.


Here is a brief list of other IDB programmes in Jamaica:

i) Adaptation Programme and Financing Mechanism for the PPCR Jamaica

This loan operation will help Jamaica to complete several activities under the Investment Plan identified under the Jamaica SPCR as part of the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR). These activities correspond to: Component 1: Assist in the mainstreaming of climate change into development plans and planning processes and demonstrate adaptation measures in a vulnerable watershed Component 2: Create innovative climate financial mechanisms to help support climate resilience within Micro, Small and Medium Size Enterprises Component 3: Develop a knowledge management programme for the Jamaica’s PPCR


ii) Public Sector Transformation: Support the Ministry of Finance and Planning Trans

The Public Sector Transformation Project (PST) has as its main objective the restructuring of the Public Sector through the introduction of new governance modalities, the rationalization and streamlining of functions across government and the implementation of new structures, systems and processes to increase efficiency within the Jamaican Public Sector. The technical cooperation between Jamaica and the IDB would allow the GOJ to complete necessary diagnostic studies, prepare implementation strategies, and formulate action plans for the most important initiatives under the Public Sector Transformation Project


iii) Evaluation of Early Childhood Learning Environments

The overall aim of this study is to evaluate the relationship among a child’s early childhood environment and child development outcomes at age 5, prior to entry to the primary level at age 6. The information to be collected in this proposed study will allow for evaluation of the developmental status, cognitive skills and school readiness of children, at the onset and at the end of their formal pre-school education, at 3 years and 5 years, respectively.


iv) Citizen Security and Justice Programme III

The proposed Programme provides a mechanism to institutionalize a framework for community security, integrating the promising and most successful components and strategies developed in CSJP I and II.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $20 million loan for Jamaica to strengthen community actions that seek to reduce crime and violence, especially among at-risk youths.

The IDB has supported the government of Jamaica in citizen security and justice programmes since 2001, through interventions in 50 communities addressing individual, family, and community risk factors. The murder rate in the eight parishes in which these programmes were implemented declined by 43 percent, compared to 35 percent nationally.

The new programme, called Citizen Security and Justice Programme III, focuses mainly on individual and community risk factors in urban, marginalized areas, addressing problems such as the use and tolerance of violence as a way to exert control and resolve disputes, the lack of economic opportunities, especially for youth, and the lack of channels for alternative dispute resolution.


v) Fiscal Structural Programme for Economic Growth

Third Operation of the PBP on Fiscal Consolidation Programme to support the Government efforts to strengthen the country’s fiscal policy stance over the short and medium term.

The Government of Jamaica will strengthen its fiscal sustainability path and promote higher economic growth with an $80 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Jamaica faces a significant challenge in terms of achieving economic growth and fiscal sustainability. It is important to modernize a tax system as a more effective tax administration will improve the efficiency and transparency of Jamaica’s public sector institutions.

This is the first operation of a policy-based loan (PBL), which provides flexible support for institutional and policy reforms through fast disbursement of resources. The programme’s goal will be achieved by reducing tax distortions, which hinder private investment, employment and competitiveness; strengthening revenue collection through broadening tax bases and reducing tax rates; enhancing the Government’s control over budgetary expenditures; improving the fiscal sustainability of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS); and strengthening Jamaica’s Fiscal Responsibility Framework (FRF).


vi) Fiscal Consolidation Programme II

The deterioration of the international economic context, the vulnerability of the BOP, and the reduction in the growth rate of the economy make fiscal correction necessary to avoid a solvency crisis. Additionally, the diagnosis from IMF and IDB on the Jamaican economy clearly identifies the need for a fiscal adjunstment that reduces the high level of public expenditures and stabilises revenues (tax and non-tax) in a framework of increasing public savings oriented towards fiscal sustainability. Thus, it will be necessary to formulate and implement a sustainable medium and long-term fiscal framework based on explicit targets of primary surplus and expenditures.


See A complete list of IDB initiatives is listed on the IDB website


Luis Alberto Moreno, IDB President

Luis Alberto Moreno assumed the presidency of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in October 2005. As President of the Bank, Moreno also chairs the Board of Executive Directors of the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) and the Donors’ Committee of the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), both institutions of the IDB Group.

Among the principal achievements under President Moreno’s leadership of the IDB is the Ninth General Capital Increase, the largest expansion of resources in the institution’s history. Since coming to the Bank, Moreno has pursued an ambitious agenda of reforms to modernize internal administration and project management with emphasis on the evaluation of results. The IDB has also multiplied its strategic partnerships with public and private entities, in order to leverage its resources and achieve greater development impact.

Before joining the Bank, Moreno served as Colombia’s Ambassador to the United States for seven years. Diplomatic relations between Washington and Bogotá strengthened notably during his tenure, leading to substantial bilateral assistance programmes that supported a major transformation in security and economic development in Colombia.

In his country, Moreno had a distinguished career in the public and private sectors. He served as Minister of Economic Development, President of the Instituto de Fomento Industrial, and manager of social investment policies, including the housing strategy for low-income families. In the private sector, he advised major Colombian companies and foreign investors, and was executive producer of a leading television news programme.

Moreno has received numerous distinctions awarded by governments and private entities, including Colombia’s highest honor, the Grand Cross of the Order of Boyacá and the Clinton Global Citizen Award for Leadership in Public Service.

Moreno holds a degree in Business Administration and Economics from Florida Atlantic University in 1975, and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in 1977. For his achievements in the field of journalism, in 1990 Harvard University awarded him a Neiman Fellowship to pursue specialized studies and research at that institution.


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