Daniel Best, Director of Projects of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) speaking at the Press Conference facilitated by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and CCRIF entitled ‘Reflections, Recovery, Rebuilding and Resilience’.

Isaac Anthony, CEO of CCRIF SPC and Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of CDEMA at the signing of an Agreement for implementation of a work plan between The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF SPC)) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA)

CDB committed to rebuilding Caribbean

Daniel Best, Director of Projects of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has reaffirmed their commitment to working with development partners to deal with disaster management in the region.

He was speaking at the Press Conference facilitated by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and CCRIF entitled “Reflections, Recovery, Rebuilding and Resilience” at the CDEMA Coordinating Unit in Lower Estate. Best stated “Disaster Management has always been an important aspect of CDB’s financing. Up to the end of 2016 we had channelled US$407 million into the region for environmental sustainability and disaster risk management projects; this is in addition to financing. We have also provided for economic and social infrastructure in all of our borrowing member countries.However it is no secret that although many of the borrowing member countries of CDB are classified as “middle-income” SIDS, the damage form the recent passage of two category five hurricanes, Irma and Maria has been considerable, with reals setbacks for the sustainable development of the affected countries. Here in the region, looking back on the season, we can thankfully speak to the values of our very own risk transfer mechanisms, that is, CCRIF SPC established in 2007, with support from CDB and others in the developmental community. CCRIF SPC offers the Caribbean states a shield against extreme weather through the purchase of catastrophe risk insurance at 40 to 50 per cent less than the cost they would incur, had they approached the insurance market individually.”

He recounted, “During the recently concluded United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP23, the Caribbean called on the International Community to seriously address issues of loss reduction and to support the recapitalising of institutions like CCRIF. We know that risk transfer mechanisms are tangible means by which developed countries can contribute short to medium-term funding. These investments are critical, and can improve the capacity of SIDS to adapt to climate change. On the heels of COP23, the global conversation about climate action and resilience is at its peak and the spotlight is on the world’s most vulnerable countries, including our in the region. The path to recovery that lies ahead of us is long, filled with challenges and opportunities. The urgent question is, ‘How do we respond to them?’”

According to him, “At CDB, as we examine what is required to assist the countries affected by the recent hurricanes, we do so cognisant of the tremendous funding requirements for rehabilitation and reconstruction. It is a challenge that can be tackled through a well-orchestrated response by the development community to maximise the impact of our assistance in the recovery process. We believe that there is opportunity in partnership – to leverage our individual strengths to achieve even greater and more robust development impacts, and building the regions’ resilience to climate change should be the centrepiece of this coordinates response.

“The Bank will employ a combination of very concessional resources from our Special Development fund, from existing trust funds and from our Ordinary Capital of resources. These resources have, in some instances, already supported, and will be further targeted to assist Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica and the Turks and Caicos Islands. We recognise that the resources we have available for disaster management are grossly inadequate relative to the sizeable source needs of the region. This is why we continue to work diligently to develop as sustainable a proposal as possible, as quickly as possible .”

The CDB official also took the opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding work of CCRIF and CDEMA, in helping our countries begin the process of building back better. (NB)

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