Regional Development Cooperation Strategy

Speeches Shim

The goal of the USAID/Eastern and Southern Caribbean (USAID/ESC) 2020-2025 Regional Development Cooperation Strategy (RDCS) is to promote “a safe, prosperous, and resilient Caribbean region that supports its vulnerable populations, withstands external shocks, and promotes accountable institutions, economic development, and private sector-led growth.” To achieve sustained transformative development, the ESC will need to address key challenges around fiscal management, governments’ capacity to be responsive to citizens, diversification of economic opportunities, security, education, and mitigation of disasters. Given the shared challenges among ESC countries, the RDCS aims to affect safety, prosperity, and resilience regionally rather than carrying out country-specific strategies. To accompany the ESC in achieving the RDCS goal, USAID/ESC will work through two Regional Development Objectives (RDOs).

RDO 1: Government Accountability and Transparency Improved. USAID seeks to strengthen national institutions and systems, support citizen interests, and improve citizen oversight. Work in this area will equip governments of the region with enhanced national financial management systems to contribute to more effective administration and an enabling environment more conducive to attracting more investments from the western hemisphere. 

RDO 2: Community Resilience Strengthened. USAID seeks to strengthen citizen security and community resilience through targeted programming. Efforts include reducing gender-based violence and other forms of crime and violence at the community level as well as engaging private sector entities to ensure youth are mentored and equipped with skills that can be more readily absorbed into meaningful employment. Interventions will also help communities reduce vulnerabilities by engaging citizens in governance, community development, and building disaster management capacity. 

Resilience as a Guiding Principle. Resilience to shocks is an unrelenting concern in the region. The ESC countries, most of which are classified as small island developing states (SIDS), remain among the most vulnerable to both natural (i.e., climate variability and change) and human-made hazards. These small and homogenous economies have a minimal buffer to recover from exogenous shocks, and risk widespread economic contraction due to overdependence on single economic sectors. Resilience, in the ESC RDCS refers to the capacity of people, households, communities, countries, and systems to mitigate, adapt to, and recover from challenges and shocks in a manner that reduces chronic vulnerability and facilitates inclusive growth.

As of the June 2020 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, TIP remains another serious challenge in the Caribbean region, with five ESC countries on the Tier 2 list, one on the Tier 2 watchlist. In collaboration with other U.S. Government agencies, the Mission will work with partner governments to increase commitment to countering trafficking in persons (C-TIP) efforts. Focusing on the protection and prevention dimensions of C-TIP, USAID will seek to reduce the vulnerability of high-risk groups to trafficking, increase identification of trafficked persons and promote their access to high-quality support and judicial services, and engage the private sector to reduce TIP. 

USAID/ESC directs regional programming in 11 countries, ten of which are in the ESC region: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. In April 2020, USAID/ESC was also conferred programmatic oversight of The Bahamas, given USAID’s role in disaster preparedness and response programming.

Last updated: August 04, 2021

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