October 17, 2017
Photo: CDB President, Dr Warren Smith, participates in the United Kingdom / World Bank High Level Caribbean Roundtable on Disaster Recovery on October 13 in Washington, DC
WASHINGTON, USA (Caribbean News Now) – President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr Warren Smith, on Sunday concluded a visit to Washington, DC, for the 2017 annual meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Smith, accompanied by vice-president (operations), Monica La Bennett, attended high-level meetings, met with key stakeholders in the global development community, and held discussions with leaders from regional governments from October 9 to 15, 2017.
During the meetings, recovery and rehabilitation for hurricane-ravaged Caribbean nations emerged as a key theme. The president, who has reaffirmed the bank’s support to help the affected countries rebuild more resiliently, participated, along with the vice-president, in the Small States Forum 2017, a high-level session that brought together finance ministers and central bank governors from 50 small states to discuss the most pressing challenges they face.
During the Forum, held on October 14, the group discussed de-risking, the region’s vulnerability to climate variability and change, and the blue economy.
In addition, Smith spoke at the United Kingdom / World Bank High Level Caribbean Roundtable on Disaster Recovery on October 13.
“The 2017 hurricane season has been one of the most destructive in recent Caribbean history. It is a stark reminder of the reality of climate change, and the dangers inherent in a ‘business as usual’ approach to reconstruction,” he said.
“CDB stands ready to work with all of our development partners to return the affected countries to a sense of normalcy; to make them more resilient; and help them to ‘build back better’,” he added.
While in Washington, the president and vice-president (operations) also attended a meeting of the development partners of the government of Haiti, convened by the IMF, during which CDB signalled its intention to continue its engagement in Haiti to support sustainable, inclusive growth and poverty reduction in the country.
The CDB delegation also met with Inter-American Development Bank president, Luis Alberto Moreno; IMF managing director, Christine Lagarde; and World Bank country director for Caribbean countries, Tahseen Sayed. In addition, they held discussions with the prime minister of Belize, Dean Barrow; ministers of finance of The Bahamas and Haiti; and with the chairman and chief executive officer of both the CCRIF SPC (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility) and the CARICOM Development Fund.
The CDB delegation’s discussions focused on strengthening partnerships with international financial institutions and donor agencies; continuing engagement with its borrowing member countries to meet their national development priorities; and looking at new and different ways to better respond to natural disasters that affect the region.