During a pledging conference on 29th January, the UK committed to maintain its share of funding to the Caribbean Development Bank’s Special Development Fund, pledging up to £21m over the next four years to continue supporting life changing projects in the Caribbean.
The Special Development Fund provides loans and grants to support projects in the most vulnerable countries in the region to tackle poverty, inequality and global challenges such as climate change and access to quality education.
For example, in Haiti, the Caribbean Development Bank has worked alongside the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank to improve primary school outcomes. The provision of tuition waivers, which allow students between 6 and 12 years old to access primary education, have supported over 260,000 children to complete their primary education.
The fund is replenished every four years and the UK’s pledge cements its position as one of its largest donors.
Countries that will continue to benefit from the fund include Haiti, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.
This commitment follows the announcement of £4.5 million additional funding from the UK Government to the Special Development Fund in September 2020 to support countries in the region with their COVID-19 recovery.
The pledged funding will help Caribbean countries better cope with the COVID-19 crisis, help mitigate the wider social and economic impacts, increase funding to tackle climate change, strengthen resilience to disasters, and protect the most vulnerable.