Thu | Dec 14, 2017

Earth Today | $100m support for climate resilience in the Caribbean

Published:Thursday | November 30, 2017 | 12:00 AM
This September 23 photo shows some of the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Maria in Roseau, the capital of Dominica.

CANADA IS to support the Caribbean to the tune of $100 million over the next five years, in the wake of the devastating blow dealt to several islands with the passage of the recent extreme hurricanes.

The announcement was made by Celina Caesar-Chavannes, parliamentary secretary to the minister of international development at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)-UN High Level Pledging Conference in New York on November 21.

"Canada is proud to stand in solidarity with its Caribbean friends that were impacted by the devastating 2017 hurricanes. We have listened to the region on its needs and understand that reconstruction and longer-term climate resilience go hand in hand. Canada will help the Caribbean rebuild better and stronger for the future," said Caesar-Chavannes.

The devastating 2017 Atlantic hurricane season caused extensive damage to several islands, forcing many to hunt financing globally in a bid to recover, even as the world is reminded that small-island states are on the front line of climate change.

The $100 million is to help finance those efforts.

"Canada's contribution will help the most vulnerable people, including women and children, to rebuild more resilient communities so they can be better prepared for natural disasters. Particular attention will be given in the coming months to specific projects aimed at reconstructing essential services, improving disaster risk management and emergency preparedness practices, supporting the role of women as leaders in reconstruction and adopting climate-adaptation measures at the community level," said a media release from Global Affairs Canada.

 

RECONSTRUCTION EFFORTS

 

"Canada is working together with international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank, to mobilise support for reconstruction efforts. Canada represents many Caribbean nations on the Board of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. At the World Bank Annual Meetings in October, Canada and participants reaffirmed their solidarity and support for the affected countries and communities," the release added.

An estimated 20,000 children have been affected by hurricanes that impacted the Caribbean in 2017, according to the release.

"More than 32,000 people have been displaced, with 17,000 of these people in need of shelter. Over 1.2 million people have been affected by damage to water infrastructure," it revealed.

"Other critical infrastructure has been significantly damaged, including electrical lines, houses and public buildings, such as government offices, schools and hospitals, as well as private-sector structures key to the economy and people's livelihood," it added.