In partnership with the Government of Saint Lucia, the World Economic Forum has launched the Country Financing Roadmap for the SDGs. It aims to help Saint Lucia unlock sources of funding, remove investment bottlenecks, and develop a more coordinated approach for financing projects that are environmentally friendly or can help people develop new skills.
The Country Financing Roadmap for Saint Lucia provides an overview of priority initiatives for leaders to assess and action project work – potentially saving money and helping to identify synergies across funding areas.
For example, the initiative brought together reskilling programmes with $12 million in total budget that can support the country’s economic recovery efforts – potentially supercharging efforts. These include a collaboration between the European Commission and Forte, to help people develop skills related to hospitality, digital skills and green or blue economy by the end of 2022, at no upfront cost to the government.
Another project, the Caribbean Climate-Smart Fund initiative by the Rocky Mountain Institute and Lion’s Head Global Partners, is working towards mobilising both private and below market rate capital to finance a $80 million project pipeline dedicated to renewable energy in Saint Lucia.
“Finding viable solutions in the short, medium and long term to the myriad challenges that plague small island developing states like Saint Lucia is critical to safeguarding and putting the needs of our people first while achieving meaningful post-COVID socioeconomic recovery and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Wayne Girard, Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and the Youth Economy, Government of Saint Lucia.
“The CFR not only presents Saint Lucia with actionable options to unlock some of the financing and investment bottlenecks that limit sustainable development, but it also presents a useful mechanism for replication across other SIDS in the Caribbean region. Saint Lucia is committed to continuing its work with the Sustainable Development Investment Partnership, to advance a regional approach to driving our collective capacities to build back better.”
“Saint Lucia has demonstrated its commitment to meeting the SDGs by embarking on several important initiatives, with some of the most important focusing on financing targets,” said Sean de Cleene, Member of the Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum.
“We hope that this CFR initiative will create opportunities for Saint Lucia and other countries to fast track similar impact projects.”
The CFR is a country-led initiative in collaboration with the Sustainable Development Investment Partnership and a joint initiative of the World Economic Forum and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Its goal is drive economic recovery and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by presenting viable solutions that address barriers to investment and attract greater sources of capital.
As a small island nation, Saint Lucia is vulnerable to economic shifts and continues to expand recovery efforts due to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed the country to an 86.5% debt-to-GDP ratio for 2020. In 2019, tourism accounted for 80 per cent of the nation’s labour market which faced a reduction in jobs from 63,400 in 2019 to 41,600 in 2020 as a result of the crisis, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. Barriers to sustainable growth also hinge on the population’s dependence on fossil fuels which, through a successful transition to renewable energy, could increase self-sufficiency, equity, and environmental sustainability.
Alongside the CFR, the government in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the University of Oxford launched the Saint Lucia National Infrastructure Financing Strategy developed using the Sustainable Infrastructure Financing Tool (SIFT), which complements the CFR and further explores the opportunities for sustainable infrastructure financing in the country.
The Sustainable Development Investment Partnership plans to continue its support to the Government of Saint Lucia and regional organisations in hosting a series of discussions on reskilling and renewable energy solutions with over the next six months.