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C.D.B. Hosts 53rd AGM; Belize Lobbies for Climate Finance

Jun 20, 2023

C.D.B. Hosts 53rd AGM; Belize Lobbies for Climate Finance

The fifty-third annual general meeting of the Caribbean Development Bank is taking place in Saint Lucia. The AGM began on June twelfth and will conclude on the twenty-third, but the opening ceremony was held today. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Economic Development, Doctor Osmond Martinez was among representatives from borrowing countries who addressed the gathering. During his remarks, C.E.O. Martinez spoke of access to climate finance and looking forward to C.D.B. providing direct support to borrowing member countries to develop comprehensive climate adaptation projects, and advance the mobilization of climate finance for loss and damage. Here’s an excerpt of his speech.

Osmond Martinez

Dr. Osmond Martinez, C.E.O., Ministry of Economic Development

“The last few hurricanes that impacted Belize contributed to average annual losses of four percent of GDP, and considerable damage to infrastructure and public utilities. Even without a direct hit, flooding in our central districts reached unprecedented levels and left us with an estimated one hundred million dollars worth of damage. This story is not one that only Belize can tell. Every single borrowing member country holds a similar fate. These scenarios have become the norm for our region. We know that our progress is only as secure as we are in the face of external shocks. Individually, as countries, we have made great strides in reducing our debt burdens, prioritizing climate action, building our disaster risk reduction facilities, and serving our people, but collective action remains crucial.  This only underscores the urgency for more collaboration at a regional level. We recognize the strategic role of the Caribbean Development Bank in mobilizing resources to support borrowing member countries’ efforts to address the challenges they face. The Bank’s targeted and strategic financial support have enabled each of our countries to prepare customized development solutions paired with unparalleled technical expertise and more importantly, all aligned with our individual national development plans. Belize will continue to champion the bank as it works arduously to meet its role, mandate and the expectations of its borrowing member countries. We will also continue to advocate for the bank among strategic partners and stakeholders.  We acknowledge the ongoing efforts of the bank to mobilize climate finance. We need the bank to advance its effort to provide affordable financing to our countries by pursuing blended finance.”