JIS News

Speaking on behalf of the Caribbean region at the 98th Meeting of the Committee of the Board of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Madrid, Spain, today (October 8), Minister of Finance and the Public Service, the Honourable Audley Shaw, recognised the increased role of the IDB in the development efforts of the Caribbean, noting that the Bank had an explicit mandate to contribute to the acceleration of the process of economic and social development of the region’s developing member countries.
Minister Shaw highlighted that there was evidence throughout much of the world of an awareness of the need for a substantial increase in resources at both the regional and global level to address the critical infrastructure gap, consequences of climate change, achieve economic development and social progress and alleviate poverty, including achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He added that this need was exacerbated by the current global economic crisis which, for small developing countries in the Caribbean, threatened to erode the hard-won gains in social and economic progress of the last two decades.
He noted that countries of the Caribbean remain particularly vulnerable to cyclical fluctuations which are exaggerated by small size, diseconomies of scale, catastrophes of nature, and the degree to which economic and social institutions possess the capacity to respond to calamity, financial or climatic.
Mr. Shaw underscored the immediate concern of the Caribbean of how to survive the current global economic crisis, arguing that “the region was the first to see the brown leaves of recession and the last to witness the green shoots of recovery.” He called for substantial increase in the resources of the IDB, commensurate with the substantial needs of the region, noting that the IDB, through its comparative advantage and institutional strategy, was well positioned to continue to support the development efforts of the region, and should be provided with the additional resources to do so.

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