Several Caribbean countries have reported that they will receive a share of the CN$20-million Canada-Caricom Climate Adaptation Fund, which is administered the Caribbean Development Bank.
Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines have all indicated receiving communication of their selection for grants from their respective Canadian high commission.
“Canada is committed to remaining a strong partner for Caribbean countries in these uncertain times, and recognises that the needs in the region are vast,” statements from high commissions in Barbados and Belize read.
To this end, the North American country said it established the fund to support Caribbean countries as they try to adapt to and mitigate climate change. Borne out of talks between Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Francois-Philippe Champagne and Caricom leaders in February, the fund was introduced to help finance initiatives and foster multilateral and private sector financing in areas such as agriculture, water infrastructure, and environmental sustainability.
With the exception of Barbados, each country will receive payment support towards Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility premiums, which they will use to cover the 2020/21 premium or combine with payment for 2021/22. The Canadian Government reached this decision after consulting with governments and other regional stakeholders.
In addition, Caricom countries are also eligible to access technical assistance. This is more so relevant to Barbados, which will technical assistance through the fund to develop financial instruments, such as resilience bonds, to boost private investment in sustainability projects.
The disbursements from the Canada-Caricom Climate Adaptation Fund follows on the heels of Canada’s allocation of CN$7.5 million to PAHO in a bid to bolster the Caribbean’s coronavirus response efforts and to strengthen the capacity of their health institutions
The statement from the high commissions noted, “Canada will continue to invest in the special and historic relationship that unites the peoples of Canada and [the Caribbean], and remains committed to bolstering the climate, economic, and social resilience of Caribbean countries. These investments are a concrete demonstration of Canada’s commitment.”