June 12, 2021

Canada Caribbean Resilience Facility for the Caribbean Region launched

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From South Florida Caribbean News

Marie Legault, High Commissioner of Canada to Barbados and the OECS

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Caribbean small island states are vulnerable to extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change.

Lessons learned from the devastating 2017 Atlantic hurricane season revealed a need to strengthen country governments’ long-term resilience and ability to build back better following natural disasters.

In response, Canada pledged $100 million (CAD) to support reconstruction and climate resilience efforts in the Caribbean region over the next five years during the UN-CARICOM High-Level Pledging Conference in November 2017.

Today, the Government of Canada is pleased to launch a $20 million (CAD) Canada Caribbean Resilience Facility initiative to help Caribbean countries better prepare for and respond to natural disasters.

“This initiative is being undertaken with Canada’s Caribbean support as a direct response to the lessons learned following the devastating hurricanes in the Caribbean in 2017 that have impacted our neighbouring countries so severely,”says Marie Legault, High Commissioner of Canada to Barbados and the OECS.  

The facility, in partnership with the World Bankand the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), will help countries to strengthen response, recovery, and financial management systems so that governments can be better prepared to respond to and rebuild after disasters, and effectively use emergency funding for post-disaster recovery activities.

This initiative will support capacity building to accelerate project implementation and develop public financial management systems to respond in case of disasters, with a focus on developing plans and training programs that incorporate gender considerations.

“The Facility will address an implementation deficit mainly caused by a capacity gap in Saint Lucia and across the Caribbean. To achieve the resilience we aim in the Caribbean, it is critical to expedite the implementation of recovery, reconstruction and resilience building projects,” said Permanent Secretary Cointha Thomas, Ministry of Finance, Saint Lucia.

The Caribbean Resilience Facility will benefit nine eligible Official Development Assistance (ODA) countries: Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, and Suriname.

“In the face of the growing severity and frequency of extreme weather events, building resilience is the highest priority for the Caribbean nations,” said Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Director for the Caribbean. “With support from the Canada financed facility, the World Bank will work with the country authorities in this collective effort to strengthen preparedness and country capacities to build back better. “

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