BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – It is time for action. In an era of myriad challenges, including geopolitical crises, an ongoing pandemic and increasing climate change-related risks, building resilience is critical for Caribbean states to survive and thrive.
As the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the European Union (EU) signed off on Tuesday on the new Caribbean Action for Resilience Enhancement (CARE) Programme, ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, head of the EU Delegation to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM made this call, urging strong collaborative action on climate change.
“I am also confident, most of all, that behind this project there is action. This action that everybody wants to see replacing words, when it comes to fighting climate change in international fora; this action that Caribbean citizens can count and rely on in times of need [and] this action that the European people want to see [as] meaningful and worth their contribution,” stated the Ambassador.
The five-year CARE programme is being funded by EUR14 million in grant financing from the EU. Managed and implemented by CDB, CARE will support disaster risk management (DRM) and climate resilience-building efforts in CDB’s Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs). Specifically, the CARE Programme will be focused on improving governance on DRM and climate change adaptation in the BMCs and strengthening evidence-based planning and decision-making and financial response of BMCs as well as community infrastructure and livelihood resilience to climate change effects and natural hazards. It is funded through the 11th European Development Fund’s (EDF) Intra- African Caribbean Pacific – European Union- (ACP-EU) Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Programme.
It is a successor to the 10th EDF ACP-EU Natural Disaster Risk Management in CARIFORUM Countries programme (NDRM), jointly implemented by CDB, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and the government of the Dominican Republic.
Speaking at Tuesday’s signing ceremony, CDB’s vice-president (operations) Isaac Solomon emphasised that the bank was committed to increasing its funding of climate action in its BMCs and stressed the importance of partnerships such as those with the EU, in accomplishing this.
“CDB is also committed to significantly scaling-up lending and support for climate action in the coming decades, including allocating up to 25-30 percent of its own resources for climate action by 2024. However, the Bank alone cannot provide adequate support that is commensurate to the magnitude of disaster risks and impacts that the BMCs face. We, therefore, continue to develop strategic partnerships with national, regional and international institutions to help the BMCs enhance their capacities to mitigate, respond to, and recover from disasters from natural hazards,” noted Solomon.
The CARE programme will continue and consolidate the work done under the 10th EDF ACP-EU NDRM Programme. Under this Programme, CDB funded and supported initiatives to establish robust early warning systems, strengthen capacity at all levels, mainstream disaster risk management and climate change adaptation into BMCs’ priority sector policies, strategies and investment planning; and build community infrastructure and livelihood resilience.