Antigua and Barbuda has received U.S. $ 9.9 million to improve drainage, wetlands and climate-proofing infrastructure from the Adaptation Fund (AF), established by the United Nations in 2001.
In a recent press statement, it was disclosed that the Caribbean Development Bank(CDB) will also be involved in a collaborative effort of climate change mitigation with the CDB pledging to build climate resilience within Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica and Belize.
The Fund is also providing small project formulation grants to National Implementing Entities (NIE) in these borrowing member countries (BMC) to build capacity in project preparation and design.
According to Monica La Bennett, vice president of the bank’s operations, this development comes after the region’s vulnerability has been emphasised by increasingly frequent adverse weather conditions and recent super storms.
“We recognise that most of our BMCs may be at a disadvantage since only three NIEs exist. Knowing the importance of capacity building, we would ask the AF to consider allowing regional accredited entities to also access such funds and help support those countries that don’t have NIEs,” she said.
La Bennett was speaking at a recently concluded workshop aimed at enhancing project development deeming it a matter of urgency as the countries attempt to tackle climate change in one of the world’s most disaster-prone regions.
She said it cannot, therefore, be business as usual, referencing the recent catastrophic weather events that devastated Barbuda, Dominica, Tortola, Sint Maarten and other territories.
Thirty-three participants from 13 BMCs participated in the two-day interactive discussions, which covered all aspects of the Adaptation Fund project cycle – from design, preparation and development to evaluation.
This year, U.S. $10 million has been provided in technical assistance to build capacity and support climate-resilience initiatives at the regional and national levels.
According to the press statement the CDB is in the process of updating its strategy to define the scope of activities and direction for the period 2018 to 2025.
Since approval of its Climate Resilience Strategy 2012-2017, 58 percent of projects financed have included climate change adaptation and/or mitigation elements in the climate-sensitive sectors of water, education, physical infrastructure (sea defences, drainage and roads) and agriculture.