World Bank Approves US$20 Million to Strengthen Human Capital Resilience for Youth and Vulnerable in Saint Lucia

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved today a US$20 million Human Capital Resilience Project for Saint Lucia to improve skills relevant to labor market demands and strengthen the social protection system through increasing resilience of the most vulnerable households to shocks. The project will offer skills training, particularly to youth and women, and provide poor households with improved social protection coverage.

“The World Bank is committed to contributing to the Eastern Caribbean states’ development priorities and is delighted to partner in Saint Lucia’s cross-cutting program to build human capital resilience,” said Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean. “This project will help better match technical skills with labor market needs to build job opportunities especially for the youth. It will also improve coverage of social safety nets and includes measures for enhancing the responsiveness of the social protection system in case of disasters.”

Small island economies in the Caribbean are highly dependent on tourism. Tourism in Saint Lucia is projected to contribute over 50 percent of GDP and 60 percent of jobs by 2027[1], and the labor market in this and other productive sectors will require human capital with high quality skills. The project will support the Government’s measures to increase job opportunities for youth and women by expanding the number and quality of technical and vocational education offerings, and sponsor internships and job placements with support from the private sector.

The project aims to support the country’s social protection system to be more efficient by improving social spending and strengthening targeting to ensure appropriate coverage. The project will also contribute to improving social spending and expanding safety nets.

The US$20 million operation is financed by the International Development Association, the concessional financing arm of the World Bank. The interest free credit has a maturity of 40 years, a grace period of 10 years and no interest.