On August 11, 2023, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) approved a grant of USD 750,000 to support the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) in coordinating emergency assistance for the Borrowing Member Countries (BMC’s) impacted by climate-related hazards.
This support will enhance CDEMA’s ability to supplement national emergency response operations during hazard events. The initiatives include training emergency response personnel, including social and gender experts, to work with national teams, and providing technical support for national disaster management entities through the development of Country Work Programmes.
This aid is crucial, especially after the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published in 2022, which indicated that small island states are increasingly vulnerable to the “most intense tropical cyclones, storm surges, droughts and changing precipitation patterns.” Mr. Daniel Best, CDB’s Director of Projects, highlighted that these hazards can result in significant economic, social, and environmental damage, as well as substantial reconstruction costs for BMCs.
Moreover, hazard events affect people’s mental health, particularly those from low-income households or communities. Therefore, it is crucial to establish effective disaster mechanisms to enable BMCs to recover swiftly after an impact.
After a disaster, various sectors of a country compete for limited resources, which can hinder economic growth and sustainable development. By strengthening CDEMA’s capacity to augment national support systems, vulnerability can be reduced, and some of the social and financial burdens experienced at the community and national levels can be alleviated in the event of a hazard.
CDB’s collaboration with CDEMA is part of its efforts to increase resilience and adaptive capacity to disaster risk and climate change impacts in the Region. The implementation of well-coordinated and timely recovery mechanisms is expected to boost environmental resilience.