All hands needed on deck for post-hurricane recovery – WB Meeting hears

Statement on High Level Meeting on Recovery and Resilience in the Caribbean

The participants highlighted the need for a response involving all partners, including regional organizations, development partners, private sector, national Governments and civil society, to leverage comparative advantages for building resilience to disasters in highly vulnerable small-island states, as extreme weather events have added to their existing economic vulnerabilities. The contribution of the private sector will also be critical, offering both resources and expertise.
Washington, October 13th, 2017– Leaders and representatives of CARICOM countries and territories, and international partners, including the international financial institutions, and the representatives of territories in the region, convened (Friday) in a high-level round table on recovery and resilience in the Caribbean hosted by the World Bank Group (WBG), as part of the WBG-IMF Annual Meetings.

During the discussion, participants examined the impact of and recovery from the destructive hurricanes that struck the Caribbean in September, reviewed the instruments available for disaster risk management and response, and considered the need to innovate further in order to address the long-term challenges and strengthen resilience of affected islands.

Participants expressed solidarity and support to the affected islands and communities, and reaffirmed their commitment to working together to build back better and in a more resilient way, following the devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria. They highlighted the need to ensure active engagement of communities, especially women, in the recovery and reconstruction process, as well as the importance of putting in place building standards that will mitigate the impact of future extreme weather events. The participants also noted the importance of making progress on the World Bank’s Small States Roadmap which proposes various initiatives to promote resilience of small states. (more…)

UK government to set up task force to build back hurricane hit countries

UK aid being delivered in Dominica after hurricane Maria. Picture: Pav Dhande/DFID
UK aid being delivered in Dominica after hurricane Maria. Picture: Pav Dhande/DFID

The UK government is to set up a private sector Task Force to help long-term reconstruction in countries and territories hit by last month’s Caribbean hurricanes, International Development Secretary Priti Patel will announce today (Friday, October 13).

It will mobilise private sector support to rebuild critical infrastructure such as roads and power supplies essential to get economies up and running again, and better withstand future natural disasters.

The team of top business leaders, either CEOs or Chairs with experience in the Caribbean, will sit on the Task Force.

Ms Patel will announce the Task Force at a meeting to discuss the response to the hurricanes and how to enhance global crisis preparedness and response, hosted by the World Bank in Washington D.C.

Read more at: United Kingdom Government

Today is International Day for Disaster reduction – Is this year’s string of hurricanes a sign of things to come?

Codrington, Barbuda after Hurricane Irma  (Photo via UN)

Joint Op-Ed by 

Achim Steiner is Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme www.undp.org

Patricia Espinosa is Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change www.unfccc.int

Robert Glasser is the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction and head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction www.unisdr.org

 

From Miami and Puerto Rico to Barbuda and Havana, the devastation of this year’s hurricane season across Latin America and the Caribbean serves as a reminder that the impacts of climate change know no borders.

In recent weeks, Category 5 hurricanes have brought normal life to a standstill for millions in the Caribbean and on the American mainland. HarveyIrma and Maria have been particularly damaging. The 3.4 million inhabitants of Puerto Rico have been scrambling for basic necessities including food and water, the island of Barbuda has been rendered uninhabitable, and dozens of people are missing or dead on the UNESCO world heritage island of Dominica.

The impact is not confined to this region. The record floods across Bangladesh, India and Nepal have made life miserable for some 40 million people.  More than 1,200 people have died and many people have lost their homes, crops have been destroyed, and many workplaces have been inundated. Meanwhile, in Africa, over the last 18 months 20 countries have declared drought emergencies, with major displacement taking place across the Horn region.

For those countries that are least developed the impact of disasters can be severe, stripping away livelihoods and progress on health and education; for developed and middle-income countries the economic losses from infrastructure alone can be massive; for both, these events reiterate the need to act on a changing climate that threatens only more frequent and more severe disasters.

Read more at Thomson Reuters Foundation

Climate Change Vulnerability: OECD head meets with Prime Minister Allen Chastanet

Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the Hon. Allen Chastanet and OECD Secretary General, His Excellency Angel Gurria

St. Lucia News Online – With climate change reality confronting the Caribbean, OECS Chairman and Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the Hon. Allen Chastanet has met with the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Secretary General H.E Angel Gurria to examine ways in which to bolster Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the region.

The meeting comes in the wake of three disastrous hurricanes, two of which decimated Dominica, the British Virgin Islands, Barbuda and Puerto Rico.

Speaking from OECD Headquarters in Paris, Prime Minister Chastanet said unprecedented events suggested that a new era of climate reality was upon the Caribbean and that an enhanced international development assistance framework was urgently needed to combat what was likely to be severe growing threats to the region.

“As one Caribbean family spread across Small Island Developing States (SIDS), we don’t lack resilience but we do lack disaster management resources and the meetings I have had with Secretary General Gurria has proven fruitful in fortifying OECD assistance” said Prime Minister Chastanet. (more…)