DFID’s regional programme in the Caribbean has changed dramatically following the visit to the region by the former Prime Minister in September 2015. Compared to the last spending round, DFID’s programme will more than quadruple from around £75 million to over £400 million in the current spending period. This will make DFID the largest bilateral donor in the region.
The £300 million UK Caribbean Infrastructure Fund is the centrepiece of DFID’s programme. The Fund will be utilised by the ODA-eligible Commonwealth countries in the region (8 countries and 1 overseas territory — Montserrat). It is being delivered in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The remaining elements of DFID’s regional programme include:
- Economic Development and Prosperity: support to boost youth skills training, private sector development, and management of public finances and tax.
- Governance & Security: mostly focused on tackling high levels of corruption and violent and organised crime in Jamaica, as well as criminal asset recovery in the region.
- Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction: including supporting disaster resilience and energy efficiency of key health facilities, and support to innovation and cutting-edge development in renewable energies, particularly geothermal.
DFID’s regional programme will sit alongside DFID global programming on climate change adaptation (6 countries in the region are part of infrastructure climate resilience programme, delivered by the World Bank) and on forestry in Guyana (to support sustainable trade in timber and timber products from this important tropical forested country). DFID also supports poverty reduction efforts of the Caribbean more broadly through a contribution to the Special Development Fund of the CDB.
DFID’s programme is delivered largely through multilateral organisations including the CDB, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Inter-American Development Bank and the Pan American Health Organisation. In Jamaica, DFID provides carefully ring-fenced and managed support to public agencies to help tackle violent and organised crime, as well as corruption.