The Minister of Planning and Development, the Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) announced that for the period 2017-2021, the indicative resource envelope (financial and technical assistance) provided by the CDB for Trinidad and Tobago is an estimated US $436.7million.
This indicative resource envelope is an increase of US $35.7 million over the indicative envelope of the previous strategy, 2011-2014. The indicative resource envelope represents the amount of resources the CDB makes available to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago in loan financing for national programmes and projects meeting the developmental needs of Trinidad and Tobago. The indicative programme of assistance reflects a mix of financial and technical assistance from the CDB in support of national development.
This announcement was made at the launch of the Trinidad and Tobago Country Strategy Paper (CSP) 2017-2021 at the Magdalena Grand Hotel, Tobago on March 9, 2017. The Ministry of Planning and Development serves as the focal point between the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the CDB. Minister Robinson-Regis serves as the Governor for Trinidad and Tobago on the Board of Governors of the CDB and the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Joanne Deoraj serves as the Director for Trinidad and Tobago. This launch took place on March 10 and several of Minister Robinson-Regis’ Ministerial colleagues who were in Tobago for Thursday’s Cabinet Meeting attended. The Tobago House of Assembly was represented by Mrs. Claire Davidson-Williams; Administrator for the Division of Finance and the Economy.
This CSP clearly identifies and focuses on the needs of Tobago, as the methodologies used in many of the smaller Borrowing Member Countries of the Bank can be applied to Tobago. The CSP goes as far as to make a distinct allocation of resources to Tobago of US $67million.
The CSP supports a programme of assistance that is designed to help achieve the following development outcomes in Trinidad and Tobago:
· Improved quality of, and access to, education and training; with an allocation of US $146.2m;
· Strengthened social protection; with an allocation of US $1m;
· Increased productivity, competitiveness and economic diversification; with an allocation of US $20.4m;
· Improved evidence-based development planning and institutional development; with an allocation of US $6.1m and;
· Strengthened environmental management supported by safe and resilient infrastructure; with an allocation of US $25m.
The Ministry of Planning and Development, as the focal point between the CDB and Government of Trinidad and Tobago, will monitor any interventions under the proposed country strategy, while the delivery (line) Ministries will have responsibility for the project development and implementation of specific projects. The CDB will also assist with all stages of project development and implementation through technical and financial assistance under the CSP.
The CDB delegation was led by Mrs. Patricia McKenzie, Vice President Operations; Dr. Justin Ram, Director Economics; Mr. Daniel Best, Director Projects and other Divisional Chiefs.
The process of formulating the CSP, started in April 2016, when the CDB conducted a programming mission in Trinidad and Tobago to advance preparation and agree upon a strategy for collaboration between the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the Bank. In this regard, the CDB held discussions with officials of several Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Bilateral Development Partners, Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago and the Tobago House of Assembly. Since then the CDB has successfully formulated the Trinidad and Tobago County Strategy Paper for the period 2017-2021, which was approved by both the Cabinet of Trinidad and Tobago and the Board of Directors of the CDB in December 2016.
In addition to setting the strategic direction for CDB’s engagement and defining the parameters of its support for Trinidad and Tobago, the Country Strategy Paper signals the continued collaboration between Trinidad and Tobago and the Bank. The Country Strategy Paper highlights to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago the possible financial and technical assistance that is available to meet our nation’s developmental agenda.