On October 31, 2019, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a $25 million loan guarantee to promote energy investment across the Caribbean. Through this program, the U.S. government will assume responsibility for the loans, giving both lenders and borrowers the confidence needed to make important energy investments.
- The loan guarantee program is not a grant; it can be used to guarantee eligible loans to support energy sector development with private, commercial lending.
- The loan portfolio guarantee program will foster greater lending across the Caribbean to support investments in energy projects promoting Caribbean energy security and resilience. The loan guarantee program aims to increase lending to individuals, households, small and medium enterprises, and larger companies across the Caribbean for small-scale non-oil energy projects, including renewable energy, power generation and distribution, energy efficiency, and green mortgages.
- To help identify projects eligible for the program, the U.S. Department of State provided $2 million to support a series of stakeholder consultations, market assessments, and four energy workshops in the Caribbean to identify promising energy investment opportunities and banks, investors, and lenders interested in a potential loan guarantee. These market assessments identified over 70 energy and alternative transportation projects under development in the Caribbean.
- Private sector companies and energy project developers interested in securing financing should contact the National Commercial Bank of Jamaica, which was selected as the banking partner for the region in this program, in order to discuss their projects under development and how best to take advantage of financing backed by the U.S. government.
- This loan guarantee portfolio program supports the U.S. government’s Caribbean Energy Security Initiative (CESI), which seeks to advance diverse, resilient, cost-effective, and secure energy systems across the Caribbean. CESI is a key pillar of the U.S.-Caribbean 2020 strategy, a whole-of-government approach aimed at increasing U.S. engagement with the Caribbean region to advance peace, prosperity and security.