On June 15, 2016, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Caribbean-Central American Action (CCAA) co-hosted an event on Capitol Hill on “Opportunities and Challenges for the United States and Caribbean Region." A highlight of this IDB-CCAA event was remarks by Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), the lead co-sponsors of H.R. 4939, the United States-Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act (H.R. 4939), which was approved by the US House of Representatives on June 13, 2016 on a 386-6 vote. Here is the House debate on H.R. 4939.
U.S. Representatives Charlie Rangel (D-NY), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) and Jeff Duncan (R-SC) also spoke at the IDB-CCAA event on Capitol Hill and recognized the IDB for its leadership on Caribbean development in areas such as tourism, energy, citizen security and climate change.
Representative Engel noted his appreciation for the IDB’s work in the Caribbean: “A continued, strong U.S. investment at the IDB will continue to pay dividends for both our regions… The IDB’s support for countries in the Caribbean that depend on heavily subsidized oil from Venezuela to transition to a more sustainable path is invaluable… The IDB’s work strengthening the Caribbean’s ability to respond to natural disasters is more important now than ever.”
Representative Ros-Lehtinen noted that: “We need the U.S. State Department, the Department of Energy, and the IDB to really focus on this effort right now – if we are successful here, we can expand these efforts to other sectors and really establish some strong and lasting relationships in the Caribbean.”
Therese Turner-Jones, the manager of IDB’s Caribbean Country Department, gave an overview of IDB’s wide range of programs in the Caribbean and emphasized: “I am more excited by the opportunity for us to learn and do more together to create vibrant economies and communities in the Caribbean, where people are productive, safe, and happy.”
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.
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