The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Accelerating financing for sustainable development in Saint Lucia
In partnership with the government of Saint Lucia, UNOPS and the University of Oxford outline key infrastructure financing opportunities to help the country achieve its sustainable development priorities.
Faced with climate and economic vulnerabilities, as well as disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, securing adequate financial resources to meet Saint Lucia’s growing infrastructure needs is a national priority for the small island nation – and is key to advancing the country’s sustainable development.
“Saint Lucia stands ready to reshape financing trends, enabling partnerships that foster infrastructure development to safeguard present and future generations,” said Phillip J. Pierre, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia and Minister for Finance, Economic Development and the Youth Economy.
To support the government, UNOPS and the University of Oxford jointly developed the National Infrastructure Financing Strategy (NIFS) to equip Saint Lucia with a robust strategy to attract sustainable infrastructure financing.
“This strategy will help to maximize socio-economic development and ensure resilience while addressing the growing needs of the population. Together, we can build a sustainable, resilient and inclusive future for all,” said UNOPS Executive Director Grete Faremo.
Through extensive data collection and cross-ministerial collaboration, the report outlines institutional arrangements, maps historical financing trends and explores Saint Lucia’s financing landscape. It also evaluates the readiness of 36 national infrastructure projects for financing across several sectors including energy, water, housing, wastewater and solid waste. This enabled the identification of potential financiers and the development of a strategic infrastructure financing plan.
All hands are on deck to build a stronger and more resilient Saint Lucia for the benefit of the people.”
Central to the strategy is the Sustainable Infrastructure Financing Tool (SIFT) – an innovative and data-driven tool developed by UNOPS to help assess a country’s national infrastructure pipeline to identify and prioritize potential sources of financing.
The tool and capabilities developed for this study, as well as capacity building provided in the use of SIFT, presents a strong foundation for the government to establish a legacy of infrastructure financing mobilization rooted in evidence.
“The benefits of adopting and utilizing such a tool spans across departments, ministries and consequently has far-reaching opportunities for our island nation,” said Wayne D. Girard, Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Youth Economy.
“I am elated to be part of this innovative aid especially at a time when our country is on the verge of social and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.
Alongside the launch of the National Infrastructure Financing Strategy, the government, in partnership with the World Economic Forum, launched the Country Financing Roadmap (CFR) initiative. The CFR is a complementary, country-led initiative to address barriers to investment and attract greater sources of capital, and highlights financing solutions in renewable energy and reskilling in Saint Lucia.
“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 the SDG targets,” said Sean de Cleene, Member of the Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum.
“We hope that both the NIFS and CFR initiatives will create opportunities for Saint Lucia, and also for replication across other countries and among Small Island Developing States," added Mr. de Cleene.
The National Infrastructure Financing Strategy is the second milestone in the ongoing partnership between the government of Saint Lucia, UNOPS and the University of Oxford. The report builds on the National Infrastructure Assessment, which identifies a robust pipeline of projects to meet long-term infrastructure needs, in line with national development objectives, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.
“The government of Saint Lucia can count on UNOPS to play an active role in helping take forward key recommendations in the report,” said Mr. Alejandro Rossi, Director of UNOPS in the Caribbean, Costa Rica and Panama.
“We are committed to helping implement solutions to support the island’s development,” he added.