Wed | Sep 18, 2019

Earth Today | EU to help Caribbean enhance climate resilience

Published:Thursday | February 21, 2019 | 12:08 AM

THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) has signed two agreements with the World Bank’s (WB) Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) to provide funding totalling €30.7 million that will strengthen disaster risk management (DRM) in the Caribbean.

The programmes will support Caribbean countries to plan for long-term resilience and climate-smart growth strategies, and to design and implement innovative policy and investment initiatives.

The two programmes that will benefit are the Caribbean Regional Resilience Building Facility ( €27.7 million) and the Technical Assistance Programme for Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance in Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) ( €3 million).

The Caribbean Regional Resilience Building Facility will support 15 Caribbean countries by providing technical assistance to mainstream resilience, leveraging investments to reduce vulnerability, and expanding financial protection against disasters.

The Technical Assistance Programme for Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance in Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories will help the OCTs understand their financial exposure or contingent liability to disasters, provide an overview of financial protection tools available, assess the feasibility of participating in insurance mechanisms, and facilitate the sharing of knowledge among OCTs.

This technical assistance programme will be carried out jointly with the Caribbean OCTs’ Resilience, Sustainable Energy and Marine Biodiversity Programme –ReSEMBiD ( € 36.7 million), implemented by Expertise France, which objective is to strengthen environmentally sustainable economic development in Caribbean OCTs.

The Caribbean Region Resilience Building Facility will benefit Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The Technical Assistance Programme for DRF and Insurance in Caribbean OCTs will benefit Anguilla, Aruba, St Barthélemy, British Virgin Islands, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Montserrat, Saba, Turks and Caicos Islands, St Eustatius, and St Maarten.

The programmes will be managed in close coordination by two EU delegations in their respective geographic area of responsibilities.

Tahseen Sayed, World Bank country director for the Caribbean, said: “With the growing impact of climate change, Caribbean countries have to adapt and prepare for more frequent and severe storms. Together with our partners, the World Bank is committed to support the islands in strengthening resilience so that development gains made over the past years are not lost in a day.

“This partnership with the European Union is part of a multipronged approach to build resilience in the region by investing in preparedness, building stronger infrastructure, creating fiscal buffers and protecting the most vulnerable,” Sayed added.