World Bank endorses OECS strategy for growth

The World Bank has endorsed the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States’ (OECS) Regional Partnership Strategy for the next four years with financial assistance to the tune of US$193 million.

The Washington-based financial institution also said it will provide technical and advisory services to the sub-regional grouping in that period.

It said the strategy seeks to support economic stability, competitiveness, and inclusive and sustained growth.

“This regional strategy was developed in close consultation with the OECS countries and is directly aligned with their short and medium-term development priorities,” said Yvonne Tsikata, World Bank Director for the Caribbean.

“It is framed by the crippling effects of the global and regional crises, the need to protect social gains, and the OECS’ continued focus on deepening regional integration and cooperation,” she added.

Owing to their small size and populations, the World Bank said the OECS countries face particular challenges in infrastructure development and global market access.

It said their location also makes them vulnerable to periodic natural disasters and climate change impacts, such as rising sea levels.

In addition, the World Bank said the authorities are making a “renewed effort” to improve economic management, reduce public debt and improve the business environment.

It said the strategy focuses on building resilience by promoting fiscal and debt sustainability, investing in people – particularly social safety nets, education and health – and developing climate resilience.