World Bank provides a further $16.4 million for Dominica

The World Bank communicated on June 30th that it is providing a further $16.4 million to the Commonwealth of Dominica. This week, the Government Information Service shared that farmers are already receiving equipment provided with support from the World Bank. The additional financing aims to continue supporting the agricultural sector, food security, climate resilience and economic recovery from COVID-19.

Similar to previous funding, the friendly terms allow for a 10-year grace period, with a 40-year maturity overall. In June, the World Bank replenished Dominica's COVID-19 recovery funds with US$3 million, after an earlier US$6.6 million support in April. Dominica's effective response to the outbreak resulted in only 18 cases and no deaths.

"Agricultural livelihoods, food security, and resilience to climate-related shocks are key priorities for Dominica," said Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean. She added: "This financing will support Dominica's efforts in these areas, including providing local employment opportunities in the construction and agriculture sectors during this challenging COVID-19 period."

Over 200 farmers have already benefitted from the World Bank support, with full balance expected by September. A local news report shows the equipment that Dominican farmers are collecting from the government, through a digitalised distribution system. One of the equipment recipients said that he has already seen a difference: "These tools are very handy and they are going to be very beneficial to me […] We ought to thank the World Bank for responding in a tangible way."

Dominica's recovery from the economic impact of COVID-19 has been underway since May. One of the first government initiatives was facilitating 1% loans for affected small businesses. In a webinar with Dubai-based newspaper Khaleej Times, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit explained that Dominica finances its post-pandemic recovery "through a combination of loans, government revenue, including CBI [Citizenship by Investment] funds, and reduction in recurrent expenditure."