Castries, 27 January 2022 (TDI): The University of Oxford and UNOPS outlined key infrastructure financing opportunities for Saint Lucia, in order to help it reach its sustainable development goals.

The climate and economic vulnerabilities of Saint Lucia, as well as disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, make it vital to secure adequate financial resources to meet the country’s growing infrastructure needs.

Prime Minister Phillip J. Pierre, Minister for Finance, Economic Development, and Youth Economy says Saint Lucia is ready to reshape financing trends, enabling partnerships that foster infrastructure development to protect current and future generations.

UNOPS, UNDP, and the University of Oxford developed the National Infrastructure Financing Strategy (NIFS) to provide Saint Lucia with a robust infrastructure financing strategy.

This strategy aims to enhance socio-economic development and promote resilient growth while meeting the constant needs of the population. “We can create a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive future together,” said UNOPS Executive Director Grete Faremo.

This study presents institutional arrangements, maps historical financing trends, and explores Saint Lucia’s financing environment using extensive data collection and cross-ministerial collaboration.

Furthermore, 36 national infrastructure projects are being evaluated for their financial readiness in several sectors, including energy, water, housing, wastewater, and solid waste. Based on the identification of potential financiers, a strategy for infrastructure financing was developed.

Saint Lucia’s people are all working together to build a stronger and more resilient nation. Saint Lucia’s Minister for Finance, Economic Development, and Youth Economy, Philip J. Pierre

Sustainable Infrastructure Financing Tool (SIFT), an innovative tool developed by UNOPS, is used to identify and prioritize potential sources of funding for a country’s national infrastructure pipeline.

As a result of SIFT and the tools and capabilities developed for this study, the government has a solid foundation on which to build an infrastructure financing mobilization legacy that is based on evidence.

Using such a tool can have far-reaching effects on our island nation, said Wayne D. Girard, Minister of Finance, Economic Development, and Youth Economy.

It is an honour to be a part of this groundbreaking aid, especially as our nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government, in conjunction with the World Economic Forum, also launched the Country Financing Roadmap (CFR) alongside the National Infrastructure Financing Strategy.

CFR is a complementary initiative aimed at breaking down investment barriers and attracting additional capital. It focuses on financing options for renewable energy and reskilling in Saint Lucia.

Sean de Cleene, a member of the Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum, says Saint Lucia has demonstrated its commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through several important initiatives, including financing certain SDG targets.

“We believe that both the NIFS and CFR initiatives will create opportunities for Saint Lucia, as well as their replication in other countries and amongst the small island developing states,” de Cleene said.

The National Infrastructure Financing Strategy represents a milestone in the ongoing partnership between the government of Saint Lucia, UNOPS, and the University of Oxford.

The report identifies a robust pipeline of infrastructure projects to meet long-term infrastructure needs in line with national development goals, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Paris Agreement.

Alejandro Rossi, Director of UNOPS in the Caribbean, Costa Rica, and Panama said, “The government of Saint Lucia can rely on UNOPS to help implement important recommendations in the report.”

We are committed to implementing solutions as part of the island’s development, he said.