Saint Lucia obtains financial support from the World Bank for the growth of the blue economy

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The Blue Economy is a comprehensive multi-sector engagement that promotes the sustainable use of coastal and marine resources to support economic development, improve livelihoods and build resilience to climate change.

The World Bank’s Board of Directors has approved $56 million in IDA financing under a project called Unleashing the Caribbean Blue Economy (UBEC).

Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines will receive US$15 each, while Saint Lucia will receive funding of US$18 under the UBEC project.

The World Bank’s Problue Multi-Donor Trust Fund also provided grant funding of US$1 to the OECS Commission, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Saint Lucia.

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The Government of Saint Lucia recognizes that the sustainable management and protection of its vast ocean space and associated marine and coastal resources, particularly in the face of increasing climate change, plays a key role in economic growth, job creation and diversification.

“We will build and sustain our economic recovery and resilience by strengthening the sustainability and competitiveness of two critical and interconnected sectors – tourism and fisheries and by developing our waste management infrastructure,” said Hon. Philip J. Pierre, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia during his speech on the 2022-2023 budget.

The Prime Minister further indicated that “…coordination of actions between participating countries is essential to maximize synergies given our common dependence on tourism, our shared marine ecosystems and fisheries resources, and our common goal of reducing marine pollution”.

Project objectives include: financing micro, small and medium enterprises; increased access to fisheries risk insurance; strengthening coastal resilience; improved waste management practices; and greater regional collaboration.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance said: “This project is a game-changer as it is envisaged to have an impact on several real sectors and to exploit the potential of emerging sectors within our economy and those of the participating states. The Ministry of Finance will spearhead this initiative with support from other government agencies and the OECS Commission. This will require extensive collaboration and synergy between all parties, but the benefits should be enormous.

The Unleashing the Caribbean Blue Economy project builds on the recent success of the Caribbean Regional Oceanscape Project which supported the development of policies and institutional reforms to improve the sustainability of tourism assets and coastal and marine natural resources. .

The OECS Commission and participating countries of UBEC have all played a strategic role in furthering the regional integration of these policies, and this project will allow them all to continue this work.

The expansion of women-owned and managed businesses in the blue economy is also supported by the project with the introduction of a regional matching grant scheme for MSMEs.

Emphasis will be placed on women, as their needs will be prioritized to access additional protection from the Caribbean Ocean and Aquaculture Sustainability Fund (COAST) climate risk insurance, which protects the livelihoods of fishermen in the event of extreme weather events.

Source: Ministry of Finance

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