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US boosts Caribbean’s disaster resilience fund with $9.5 million grant

The region received a financial boost from the US-Caribbean Resilience Partnership to strengthen its response to natural disasters and build resilience.

Launched on April 12 in Miami, the US-Caribbean Resilience Partnership had its first meeting in Bridgetown, Barbados, on October 23 and 24. The meeting concluded with the United States providing US$9.5M in disaster resilience funding.

“The partnership aims to strengthen US-Caribbean cooperation and advance greater resilience to withstand the impacts of climate change, natural disasters, and extreme weather,” the US State Department says on its website.

“The funding will support technical exchanges and consultations between US interagency resilience experts, ministries, and disaster management officials from the Caribbean region,” it adds.

The working group consists of representatives from the United States, 18 Caribbean countries, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, the Eastern Caribbean’s Regional Security System, universities, and other non-governmental partners.

At the meeting, the group discussed plans to improve resilience through US$5M in funding for a Caribbean-wide energy initiative. Among other things, the initiative aims to reduce electricity outages caused by hurricanes and floods.

From the fund, US$1.5M will support technical exchanges and consultations between US inter-agency resilience experts, ministries, and disaster management officials from the Caribbean region who involved in the partnership.

Some US$2M will support the capacity of its partners to prepare for and mitigate the effects of disasters. In addition, US$1 million will be distributed to civil society and NGOs in small grants for enhancing community-led disaster resilience in the Eastern Caribbean.

Another key component of the partnership is the creation of a multilateral programme to improve regional capacity for hurricane forecasting in the Caribbean Sea and tropical North Atlantic Ocean.