A year that will have a lasting impact – CARICOM Secretary-General

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SG

 

End of Year Message

by the Secretary-General

of the

Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

 

There is no doubt that the events of 2017 will have a lasting impact on our Community.  The ravaging effects of this year’s hurricane season will cast a long shadow over our Community for some time yet.

Six of our Members and several of our Caribbean neighbours experienced the wrath of unprecedented back-to-back Category 5 Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The heavy toll of lives, property and infrastructure had an effect wider than the affected countries.  Our Community has bonded together, as its governments, people and institutions render yeoman support to the stricken countries.  The international community has been at our side in the relief undertaking in a highly appreciated show of solidarity.

The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, (CDEMA) the Community’s specialised institution, performed magnificently as it coordinated the relief efforts and helped to set the stage for recovery.  I must extend the Region’s gratitude to the Agency for a job well done.  The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) was also prompt in meeting its commitments to the affected countries with the appropriate policies.

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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

US$33M to finance climate change resilient infrastructure in Caribbean

Patricia McKenzie (centre), CDB Vice-President, Operations and Eric de la Moussaye (right), French Ambassador to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and Barbados, sign the Credit Facility Agreement. Looking on is Dave Waithe, Legal Counsel at CDB (Photo via CDB)
Patricia McKenzie (centre), CDB Vice-President, Operations and Eric de la Moussaye (right), French Ambassador to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and Barbados, sign the Credit Facility Agreement. Looking on is Dave Waithe, Legal Counsel at CDB (Photo via CDB)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados - Officials from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) have signed an agreement to provide US$33,000,000 towards financing sustainable infrastructure projects in the Caribbean region. At least 50 per cent of the funds will be used to fund climate change adaptation and mitigation projects.

The agreement was signed last month at the CDB Headquarters in Barbados, by French Ambassador to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and Barbados, Eric de la Moussaye, in the presence of CDB Vice-President (Operations), Patricia McKenzie.

Caribbean countries are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with our geographical location leading to high exposure to natural hazards. Economic conditions also play a role, as there is a lack of access to long-term resources to finance sustainable climate-related infrastructure projects. We believe that these additional funds will go a long way towards building resilience and mitigating the impact of climate change in our region,” said Mrs. McKenzie.

The funds are being provided by AFD under a Credit Facility Agreement with CDB. AFD is the primary agency through which the Government of France provides funding for sustainable development projects. This marks the first time that CDB has accessed financing from AFD.   (more…)