Dominica is among seven Caribbean countries who receive emergency loans from the Caribbean Development Bank to finance its Covid19 response.
Dominican has been allocated US $2.5 million, Grenada 5.9 million, Suriname 8.2 million, and St Lucia 10.8 million.
The lion’s share of the funds goes to Belize with US $15 million, St Vincent 11.3 million and Antigua US $13 million.
This totals US $66.7 million.
CDB President, Dr Warren Smith says this support should keep government services running to prevent economic decline and social hardship.
The emergency loans, made under CDB’s most concessional terms, will provide vital liquidity and increase governments’ fiscal space to allow these countries to promptly meet their urgent financing needs without diverting resources away from critical social expenditures or health emergency needs.
Caribbean countries are especially vulnerable to the global outbreak due to their heavy dependence on tourism for income and employment. According to CDB estimates, many of these countries, including those, which will be supported with emergency loans, will fall into recession this year.
Real gross domestic product will decline in Antigua and Barbuda (1.5%), Belize (5.4%), Dominica (2.9%), Grenada (10%), Saint Lucia (9.1%), and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (4.8%). Suriname, heavily dependent on gold production and export, was also severely hit and the economy almost brought to a complete standstill. Its economy is forecast to contract by 3% in 2020.
It is expected that the social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be significant, stemming from an increase in unemployment, and loss of income and livelihoods, as well as substantial disruptions of social services, with women, female heads of households and children, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and migrants as the most vulnerable groups.