Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Chris Sinckler (right), is pictured during a meeting with a delegation from the????Inter-American Development Bank today at Government Headquarters. Also pictured are??Manager, Public Investment??Unit,??Seibert Frederick (fourth from right), Permanent Secretary with responsibility for Investment, Juanita Thorington-Powlett (partly hidden) and the IDB’s Resident Representative, Anneke Jessen. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Government will continue its work with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for the benefit of all Barbadians.

This assurance was given today by Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Chris Sinckler, as he welcomed an 11-member team of IDB Counselors, drawn from the Caribbean, Europe, North, Central and Latin America. They are in Barbados for a week-long familiarisation visit to assess local projects that the hemispheric financial institution has funded.

Mr. Sinckler said that the IDB was now the major financial institution in the region, adding that given the vast work to improve the quality of life and standards of citizens, it was important to ensure that any country’s resources were properly expended and targeted to achieve the desired result. He told the IDB officials that they

had an important role in helping the Bank to better appreciate the myriad development challenges of member countries.

He noted that in spite of the fact that Barbados was a "small, vulnerable economy with its own capacity limitations", it had one of the largest portfolios in the Caribbean region. The Finance Minister pointed out that the role of the counselors was critical to helping member countries achieve the highest possible standards.

In response, IDB’s Counselor for the United States, Steve Donovan, welcomed the opportunity to find ways of better understanding Barbados’ particular challenges and said that he looked forward to seeing the progress of the projects.

The IDB is the largest source of development financing for 26 Latin American and Caribbean countries.?? In addition to loans, the Bank also makes available grants and technical assistance to its member states, as well as to civil society organisations.

Over the years, the IDB has provided development funding for a number of government projects and programmes in Barbados.?? These have included the Water and Sanitation Systems Upgrade; an Agriculture Health and Food Control Programme; the modernisation of the Barbados National Procurement System; the Barbados Statistical Service; the Department of Customs, Excise and VAT; and the Barbados National Standards Institution. It was established in 1959.


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