Slew of programmes launched to help Dominican Republic and Central America recover, improve jobs
SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC — The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved billions of dollars to help the Dominican Republic improve jobs and employment coming off of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was revealed in the group’s recent report, “Creating opportunities and building resilience: priorities for sustainable recovery”, which highlighted its efforts in the Dominican Republic and parts of Central America.
Providing a breakdown of its employment programmes in the Dominican Republic specifically, the IDB reported “US$1,110 million (est. $1 billion) in financing approved by the IDB Group in 2022, mainly to support greater transparency in public management, road transportation, environmental sustainability and recovery of employment.”
However, it acknowledged that these measures were necessary as the COVID-19 pandemic “exacerbated structural deficits in the quality of the Dominican Republic’s employment, leading to significant job losses and a rise in unemployment and underemployment, especially among youths and women”.
“Disruptive trends in the labour market, such as digital transformation and the transition to a low-carbon economy, are altering job requirements, creating new jobs and spurring demand for new skills,” the IDB said.
“With IDB support, the country is focusing on improving employability in a context of sustainable and inclusive recovery.
“This goal is pursued through the flexible employment system, ‘RD Trabaja’, which will make it possible to offer comprehensive support to jobseekers.”
Additionally, the IDB said its US$38 million in financing will help to support the DR’s Flexible Employment System, which “aims to improve opportunities for job seekers in finding formal-sector employment”.
“To that end, the program will support a comprehensive system of active employment policies to strengthen job skills and to improve the coverage and quality of labour intermediation services,” it noted.
DR jobs are recovering
Amid its continued support, the IDB granted that jobs in the Dominican Republic and Central America are improving.
In fact, the IDB suggested those improvements may even be slightly faster than “that of other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, driven by a rebound in tourism, remittances, and agricultural exports”.
However, the major international organization also stressed the need for these countries to “drive medium-term growth and create more and better jobs”.
Similarly to the Caribbean, the IDB said informal employment in the Dominican Republic and Central America accounts for a large portion of the job recovery — and is a problem that must urgently be addressed to avoid leaving residents vulnerable to external shocks.
Despite this, the IDB said a silver lining is that the “increase in the frequency and impact of multiple recent crises offers an opportunity for countries to adapt, and for the bank to tailor its response to the needs of its clients”.
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Labs report, “Creating opportunities and building resilience: priorities for sustainable recovery”