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(Photo: The Belize Herald)

Eastern C’bean countries turn to Blue Economy with UN SDG Fund project

(Photo: The Belize Herald)

The governments of Barbados, Grenada, and St Vincent and the Grenadines will benefit from a United Nations (UN) Joint Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Funds grant of US$1 million, after submitting a proposal for a joint programme — Harnessing Blue Economy Finance for SIDS Recovery and Sustainable Development.

Selected from 258 submissions, the joint programme is among 62 joint proposals which will benefit from the UN Joint SDG Fund. Over the next two years, Barbados, Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines will receive support from the UN Development Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the UN Environment Programme.

In addition to the US$1 million grant, the UN agencies will provide US$140,000.

“This presents another opportunity for the UN development system working cohesively to deepen its partnerships with governments of the Eastern Caribbean and to foster blue economic growth through innovative financing mechanisms, while ensuring that the SDGs are at the forefront of national policy and no one is left behind.” Didier Trebucq, UN resident coordinator, asserted.

(File photo)

With the grant funding, the Eastern Caribbean governments will embark on developing financing strategies for the Blue Economy and creating an enabling environment for SDG investment.

As the countries strive to rebuild their economies following the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19), they will focus on the Blue Economy as a driver of regional economic recovery and development. By doing so, the governments hope to identify policy gaps, key opportunities and specific financing mechanism for achieving resilient, sustainable growth.

Furthermore, the grant will help the Caribbean countries to address financial challenges, including those arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, and build on existing partnerships with the private sector and development financing institutions.

United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative — Eastern Caribbean Magdy Martinez-Soliman (Photo: BVI Beacon)

According to UNDP Resident Representative Magdy Martinez-Soliman, “The COVID-19 crisis has affected the Caribbean’s ambitions to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It has drained away resources that were much needed to finance the SDGs. This joint programme will support Barbados, Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, in their efforts to develop financing strategies in the Blue Economy and SDG investments. The three countries are at the vanguard of the Blue Economy ‘wave’ in the region.”