In a powerful intervention at the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting (CFMM) in Washington DC, the prime minister of Saint Lucia called for the rules to be changed so countries affected by natural disasters could access funds more quickly.
Over the past few weeks the Caribbean has been battered by three category five hurricanes which have left devastation in their wake. Parts of South Asia have faced floods, leading to hundreds of deaths. In Africa, Commonwealth member states have had to contend with the dual perils of mudslides and desertification.
Speaking after the meeting at the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Saint Lucia’s prime minister, Allen Chastanet said, “While we’ve been theorising about the impact of climate change, this summer and other summers previously, we have seen in reality what it means. It requires us to accept the fact that some of our economies are going to be wiped out. We’re having to deal with the reality that our future is not within our control.
“We came here and we’re continuing to plead with the donor agencies that the SIDS (small island developing states) be carved out and that we compartmentalise resilience building and we allow there to be a special fund that we can access, that’s at concessionary rates. Time has run out against us and it requires us to bring the human side back to what has taken place.”
Read more at: The Commonwealth Secretariat
— World Bank Caribbean (@WBCaribbean) October 14, 2017
Statement on High Level Meeting on Recovery and Resilience in the Caribbean
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…)