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The Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) has donated US$400,000 (approximately TT$2.7 million) to increase the safety of people working towards the deterrence, reduction and nursing of patients afflicted by COVID-19.

In a release CAF said: “T&T’s Ministry of Finance will receive a US$400,000 donation from CAF to strengthen its emergency response mechanisms and to reinforce the protection, and safety of medical personnel working in the prevention, mitigation and care of patients affected by this global COVID 19 pandemic.” With this donation CAF noted that it supports the containment and control measures that the Government of T&T is undertaking to prevent the spread of the virus.

CAF CEO Luis Carranza remarked: “T&T’s efforts to contain and mitigate the pandemic are heading in the right direction, and this donation is the first one of several actions we are undertaking to contribute to strengthen prevention, mitigation and medical care, in order to preserve public health in the country.” Following the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO), CAF supports its member countries in dealing with this humanitarian emergency with initiatives such as the donation to T&T.

Additionally, CAF revealed that it has made available, a US$2.5 billion Emergency Credit Line for countercyclical and rapid disbursement for those countries most in need of urgent assistance.

Last year at a CAF seminar entitled Envisioning Long-Term Sustainability in T&T, Antonio Silveira, vice president for infrastructure at the development bank indicated that over the past three years, CAF has approved US$800 million in loans to T&T.

Silveira articulated that of the approximately US$800 million approved in loans, a large part went to support the country’s fiscal consolidation programme and the rest for funding road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance programmes.

CAF’s action focusses on three main areas. The first one is economic infrastructure (given its impact on market access, productivity and the country’s integration) the private sector (as a central pillar of support to productive transformation) and the institutional framework (reversing features with a negative influence on the business environment).