* The World Bank’s focus on a cross-cutting approach for building resilience in the Caribbean is more important now than ever. We are working with member countries in the Caribbean to help them respond to COVID-19 and prepare for a sustainable economic recovery. This page will be updated periodically.
Last update April 8, 2021
What is the World Bank doing to support the Caribbean’s response to COVID-19?
- The World Bank is bringing financing and knowledge support to help countries address the health threat and the social and economic impacts of the pandemic. Financing for immediate health response comes from the global COVID-19 Fast-Track Facility, by triggering contingent financing mechanisms like Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Options (CAT DDOs), and by quickly and flexibly reallocating existing project resources to support COVID-19 response.
- Initial support has focused primarily on the health impact of the crisis. The World Bank has helped countries procure essential supplies to detect, contain, and treat COVID-19, strengthen health systems, and expand social protection for vulnerable groups.
- The World Bank is now moving to its next phase of support, helping countries address the social, economic, and financial impacts of the crisis and prepare for a resilient and sustainable recovery.
Which Caribbean countries are included in the COVID-19 response?
- Financing for COVID-19 response has been provided in the following countries: the Bahamas, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Suriname, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, and Guyana. The Bank is engaging with Barbados at the request of these IBRD graduate countries for assistance during the COVID-19 crisis.
What is being done for each country to address the impacts of COVID-19?
- On May 25, the World Bank approved US$100 million to support the country’s efforts to provide COVID-19 relief and lay the foundation for a resilient economic recovery. This financing, provided on an exceptional basis, aims to help The Bahamas enhance COVID-19 relief, strengthen financial stability and the business environment, and improve fiscal sustainability and resilience. Read more here
- On April 20, the World Bank activated US$6.6 million to provide immediate funding for Dominica’s emergency response, focusing on enhancing health system capacity and strengthening food security. US$5.1 million will be used to bolster the capacity of Dominica’s public health system to manage COVID-19. Funds will be available to purchase drugs, medical supplies and equipment, and laboratory supplies to boost testing capacity and for minor retrofitting of isolation units. Another US$1.5 million will be used to support agriculture and strengthen national food security during the pandemic. The intervention is targeted to reach an estimated 3,200 farmers to ensure that the local food supply chains are better able to meet the needs of the island. These funds were accessed through the Contingent Emergency Response Components of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Regional Health Project and the Emergency Agricultural Livelihoods and Climate Resilience Project. Read more
- On June 26, additional financing of US$3 million was approved for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Regional Health Project in Dominica. This replenishes funds that were redirected for emergency purposes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more
- On June 30, additional financing of US$3.6 million was approved for the Dominica Emergency Agricultural Livelihoods and Climate Resilience Project, to restore funds that were used in the COVID-19 emergency response and support food security and climate resilience objectives. Read more
- In August, the World Bank activated US$5.2 million in funds through the CERC component of the Dominica Housing Recovery Project to provide income support to people economically affected by the COVID-19 crisis who meet set criteria. Grants will be distributed to over 7,000 Dominicans under the Government’s Livelihood Support and Social Protection Programme. Read more
- On March 18, 2021, the US$25 million First COVID-19 Response and Recovery Development Policy Credit was approved. This financing aims to support Dominica’s COVID-19 response to save lives, livelihoods, and jobs, while laying the foundation for longer0term economic recovery. It includes measures to support the eventual reopening of the tourism sector, while protecting public health, as well as initiatives to protect jobs, and policy reforms to strengthen recovery. Read more: Press release
- The Dominican Republic has activated last March 2020 the Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (CAT DDO) from the Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Loan with a CAT DDO. This US$150 million contingency credit line will help the country implement emergency measures to contain the spread and manage health and economic impacts. More information
- One June 18, the World Bank approved US$100 million to support the response to the COVID-19 emergency in the Dominican Republic. This financing will help improve the capacity of the health system, support the most vulnerable population, and reduce the financial burden on businesses and poor households. Read more
- On June 1, The World Bank activated US$2.5 million to support Grenada’s response, which will be used to strengthen the health sector response. The financing will be used to purchase critical supplies, including personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, medical equipment, laboratory equipment and tests, and goods and services to enhance preparedness and surveillance systems at ports of entry. The funds will also be used for the retrofitting of isolation areas, including a mobile unit, and the procurement of an oxygen generation plant. These funds were accessed through the Contingent Emergency Response Component of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Regional Health Project. More information
- On June 26, additional financing of US$2.5 million was approved for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Regional Health Project in Grenada. This replenishes funds that were redirected for emergency purposes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more
- On December 17, the US$25 million Grenada COVID-19 Crisis Response and Fiscal Management Development Policy Credit was approved. This financing will support the government to strengthen the country’s health systems and protect livelihoods through financial assistance to the tourism sector, the agriculture sector, and small businesses. The operation also supports medium-long term structural forms to improve fiscal management and debt transparency, enhance climate resilience, and strengthen public accountability. Read more: Press release
- The US$150 million Jamaica COVID-19 Response and Recovery Development Policy Loan, approved March 18, 2021, supports the government to protect poor and vulnerable Jamaicans, support sustainable business growth and job creation, and strengthen policies and institutions for resilient and sustainable recovery. Read more: press release
- On April 30, The World Bank activated US$10.5 million to support the country’s COVID-19 response. These funds will strengthen Saint Lucia’s efforts to address the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. This financing will help increase testing capabilities, build isolation units, and enhance public information campaigns to assist with awareness and prevention. It will also support the rehabilitation of Victoria Hospital and other medical facilities, creating employment through the associated labor-intensive civil works that will also enhance infrastructure resilience. These funds were accessed under the Contingency Emergency Response Components of the Saint Lucia Health System Strengthening Project and the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project. More information.
- On June 26, additional financing of US$5 million was approved for the Health System Strengthening Project in Saint Lucia. This replenishes funds that were redirected for emergency purposes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more
- On January 14, the US$30 million Saint Lucia COVID-19 Response, Recovery, and Resilience Development Policy Credit was approved. This financing will help the government to enhance the capacity of the health sector and provide short-term relief to the poor, small businesses, and severely affected workers. The operation also supports measures to ensure business continuity and save jobs. It supports medium-term resilience through structural reforms to improve public financial management, procurement, debt transparency and management, financial resilience to natural disasters, and education sector policies. Read more: Press release
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- The World Bank activated US$4.5 million to provide immediate funding for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ response, aimed at strengthening the capacity of the health system. The financing will be used to improve the ability to isolate patients, increase testing capacity, and purchase critical supplies, including personal protective equipment, mobile isolation units, testing equipment, reagents, gloves, and masks. It will also support preparedness and response capacity for other public health emergencies by increasing access to medical equipment and expanding the capacity of hospitals. These funds were accessed under the Contingency Emergency Response Component of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Regional Health Project. Check the Press Release
- On June 26, additional financing of US$4.5 million was approved for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Regional Health Project in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. This replenishes funds that were redirected for emergency purposes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more
- The World Bank activated US$412,000 to purchase essential medical supplies in Suriname for emergency response.
- As part of its rapid response at the onset of the pandemic, Suriname benefited from this World Bank financing to procure and distribute personal protective equipment and medical supplies to key hospitals handling COVID-19 cases.
- The funds were mobilized under the Saramacca Canal System Rehabilitation Project using the Contingency Emergency Response Component.
- More information: Press Release
- Haiti’s US$20 million grant operation will help the country prevent, detect and respond to COVID-19 while strengthening national systems for public health preparedness. More specifically, this IDA grant will provide Haiti with immediate support to minimize COVID-19 transmission through boosted testing for early detection and rapid response teams to contain outbreaks. It will also mobilize additional health staff and provide equipment to improve care of patients who do become ill. Press Release
- On June 29, the World Bank approved US$20 million to support the COVID-19 response and longer-term resilience in Haiti. The financing aims to increase Haiti’s capacity to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak and enhance resilience to natural hazards and health-related shocks. Press Release
- In addition to these specific projects, the World Bank is supporting several key initiatives to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic across sectors. This includes support to rural connectivity, agriculture and food security, social protection, education, and water and sanitation. Read more about the overall response in Haiti.
Trinidad and Tobago
- The World Bank approved US$20 million for a project that aims to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness. The financing will support procurement of key medical supplies needed for testing and diagnosis, inputs for infection prevention and control in health facilities, and personal protective equipment for staff.
- Support will also be provided for the health system to bolster capacity to manage future infections and provide training on appropriate clinical care and safe waste disposal.
- Financing for this project is from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as part of the COVID-19 Fast-Track Facility offered to help countries worldwide face this pandemic.
- More information: Press release
- The World Bank activated US$12.4 million to provide social protection support to poor and vulnerable households affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The financing will support poverty reduction social protection programs to assist over 13,000 households in need. This response particularly targets households with pregnant women, children, the elderly and persons with disabilities. These funds were mobilized under the Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC) of the Climate Resilience Improvement Project. More information.
- In August, US$8 million in funds were reallocated through the CERC component of the Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project to support Belize’s agricultural sector and improve food security in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will benefit more than 8,700 agricultural households in the country. Read more
- The World Bank approved the US$7.5 million Guyana COVID-19 Emergency Response Project to support the country in tackling the current pandemic and strengthening the country’s health system.
- The project will strengthen laboratory capacity, support screening and surveillance capacity, improve contact tracing, and equip healthcare facilities for more effective treatment and care of COVID-19 patients.
- Read more: Press release
Last Updated: May 26, 2021