From left: Apostolic Nuncio, Eugène Nugent
PORT-AU-PRINCE – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) on September 21 officially opened its Country Office in Haiti, the first outside its headquarters in Barbados.
To commemorate the occasion, Dr William Warren Smith, president of the Bank, hosted an inauguration event, which First Lady of the Republic of Haiti, Her Excellency Martine Moïse; Apostolic Nuncio, Ambassador Eugène Martin Nugent; Ministers of Government; and representatives from the diplomatic community in Haiti attended.
“The opening of the new Country Office here is timely, as we seek to advance Haiti’s development and to assist with its further integration into the Caribbean Community,” said Smith during the event.
“Be assured that CDB stands ready to provide further support and to continue improving the quality of programmes and services to enhance the livelihoods of the people of Haiti,” he added.
Speaking to the gathering at the Royal Oasis Hotel in Pétion-Ville, the President noted that since 2007, CDB has committed approximately US$134 million in grants to Haiti from the Bank’s Special Development Fund (Unified). CDB’s new Country Office will become the focal point for the implementation of its country strategy for Haiti for the period 2017 to 2021, he said.
“This Office represents the Caribbean Development Bank’s deep and unwavering commitment to continue working with the Government of Haiti to deliver positive development results for the people of Haiti,” said Monica La Bennett, vice-president (operations), CDB during a ribbon-cutting ceremony held during the inauguration of the new location.
The First Lady; Minister of the Economy and Finance, His Excellency Ronald Décembre; and the Apostolic Nuncio joined the Bank’s management for the private ceremony.
On February 27, 2018, CDB signed a Country Agreement with the Government of Haiti to establish the Office. The Bank’s ongoing work in the Republic includes projects in education, climate resilience, community-based agriculture, and rural development. In addition, since May 2013, CDB has paid the country’s catastrophic insurance premiums to CCRIF SPC.
The Bank’s resident country representative in Haiti is Stephen Lawrence. A civil engineer by training, he is also a development practitioner whose career has included posts in Africa and the Caribbean. (PR)