Antigua and Barbuda among a number of Caribberean countries to benefit from the launch of a CAD$20 million (US$14.8 million) 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 Bank and 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.
Following the devastation caused to several Caribbean countries by the hurricanes in 2017, Canada had pledged CAD$100 million (US$74 million) 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.
Canada said that the new facility 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 Caribbean Resilience Facility will benefit nine eligible Official Development Assistance (ODA) countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.
“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 Cointha Thomas, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance in St Lucia.