CARICOM needs very concessional financing for climate resilience – Secretary-General LaRocque

The Caribbean Community’s goal of creating a climate resilient Region requires significant grant funding and very concessional financing, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said Monday.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Twenty-Ninth Inter-sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government at the Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel in Haiti, he said “without access to such financing, already high debt levels across the Region would be exacerbated.”

He explained that most CARICOM countries were categorised as middle or high-income and were largely ineligible for concessional development financing and Official Development Assistance (ODA), due to the use of GDP per capita as the principal criterion.

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Regional tourism hits 30m

The Caribbean Tourism Office recently released its Caribbean Tourism Performance Report 2017 and Outlook, showing that the number of stay-over or tourist visits to the region reached 30 million in 2017 and bringing an estimated $37 billion in total visitor spending.

Ryan Skeete, director of research and IT at the organisation, presented the findings February 15, 2018, at CTO Headquarters, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados.

Read more at: The Bahamas Investor

Japan funding to help women in Guyana, Dominica deal with disasters

The Government of Japan is contributing US$5 million to help rural women in Guyana and Dominica, particularly those engaged in agriculture, withstand the effects of climate change.

At the Ministry of Finance Thursday afternoon, Minister of Finance Winston Jordan signed the project documents with the United Nations Development Programme for the Japan-funded project.

A portion of the US$5 million project will be used in Guyana over the next three years. It is intended to help poor farmers, especially women, to withstand the negative impacts of climate change.

“As such, the project will focus, primarily, on women, whom, perhaps, are the most vulnerable section of the population that is exposed during droughts, floods, hurricanes and other severe weather conditions.

Read more at: News Room

Clinton to visit Dominica next week

NEW YORK, NY – President Clinton today announced that at the invitation of the leaders of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominica, the Clinton Foundation will be launching an Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery, following a planning meeting yesterday with officials from the islands, as well as leaders from business and civil society.

The Action Network will formally convene for a meeting on April 3rd at the University of Miami, where stakeholders will continue to work towards Commitments to Action to address the on-going immediate response needs, as well as the long-term recovery in the region. This Action Network builds from the successful Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) model, where leaders from across sectors convene to mobilise resources and implement solutions to addressing pressing global challenges.

President Clinton will also travel next week to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Dominica, to view the islands’ ongoing efforts to continue building back in the wake of last year’s hurricane season. This follows a trip to Puerto Rico in November of last year(link is external).

“Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Caribbean community are in need, and we must answer that call,” said President Clinton. “Together with leaders from government, business, and civil society, we can demonstrate what is possible when we come together and bring our collective will and resources to bear on this crisis. We have a responsibility to act, for the people who are still suffering, and for all the future generations in the region.”

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Read more at: Clinton Foundation

Hurricane-hit Dominica hurries to prepare for next storm season

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The Caribbean island of Dominica, still reeling from Hurricane Maria last September, is on the “frontline of the war on climate change” and has only five months to prepare for the next hurricane season, its foreign minister said.

“Time is not on our side,” Francine Baron told an event in London, adding that the tiny island nation of 71,000 people is taking steps to “build back better” after last year’s disaster.

The top-strength storm killed at least 14 in Dominica, and caused damage worth $931 million, according to a government report.

“No part of the island was spared – every single sector and every single family was negatively affected by this hurricane,” Baron told Tuesday’s discussion on the Caribbean region’s resilience to disasters.

Read more at: Reuters