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Mar 31, 2020

I.D.B. Discusses COVID-19 and the Caribbean

On Monday afternoon, the Inter-American Development Bank held a webinar to talk about COVID-19 and the implications on the Caribbean. During the live online show, Therese Turner Jones of the Caribbean Country Department spoke about the multi-lateral institution’s position on offering support to its members in the region. Turner-Jones outlines the priority areas of support that the I.D.B. will be looking to support in the region. Here’s a snippet of the presentation.


Therese Turner-Jones

Therese Turner-Jones, General Manager, Caribbean Country Department, I.D.B.

“To say that this is the biggest challenge is an understatement and we have heard that throughout the world since day one. What we have been doing and what we have offered governments from Barbados all the way to Suriname and Argentina to Chile.  We have already an existing portfolio with each country and to the extent possible we would like to redirect some of those resources, first of all, to deal with the health crisis, as you know many countries in this region in particular have very weak health infrastructure. So, that is one line of work that is to shore up health professional. The second line of defence is can we redirect resources to help on the fiscal side to make it easier for the vulnerable; people who are unemployed or will be unemployed as a result of this crisis.  Imagine you are a small business in the Caribbean and for the most part your organization is going to be badly hit because economic activities come to a grinding halt. So, how do we make sure that at the end of this that those entities are still in a position to survive? That would mean, providing whether it is credit guarantees or through development banks or commercial banks because we have relationships to provide these credit guarantees. But it is also to give those SMEs advice on how to go about dealing with the crisis. This is also a moment for all governments in the Caribbean to take a look at how we do business and how we deliver services to the general public.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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