The year 2017 was a challenging one for the Eastern Caribbean, where a series of extreme hurricanes left a trail of devastation in their wake. It is timely therefore that a USD 20 million project has been submitted Green Climate Fund (GCF) for consideration. The project aims to build integrated resilience to climate risks of individuals and their businesses, communities and governance systems through grant and loan award mechanisms in each country that are transparently managed through decision-making by those impacted by climate change. The project is an Enhancing Direct Access pilot project to be implemented in Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and the Commonwealth of Dominica, which was developed in response to a request for proposals issued by the Green Climate Fund in 2016.
Two out of the three participating countries suffered severe impacts last year, with Antigua and Barbuda sustaining damages and losses of about US$ 155 million due to Hurricane Irma, and the Commonwealth of Dominica is estimated to have lost US$ 1.37 billion, which is 226 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The third country participating country, Grenada, has taken many years to recover from Hurricane Ivan which struck the island over a decade ago.
If approved by the Fund’s Board, the Enhancing Direct Access project will transparently channel climate financing to vulnerable people and communities in the pilot countries to retrofit buildings (houses, small businesses and community buildings) using the new OECS model climate resilient building code. The project will also fund small-scale community watershed and drainage improvements to cope with flooding. The Commission of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) will monitor and evaluate the impact of the interventions, which will assist the participating countries to report on their Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement, and on progress towards the St George’s Declaration of Principles for Environmental Sustainability in the OECS.
In accordance with the Green Climate Fund’s Information Disclosure Policy, the Environmental and Social Safeguards (ESS) report for this Category B (medium risk) project has been published on the OECS website.
The Enhancing Direct Access pilot project will be implemented by theDepartment of Environment in Antigua and Barbuda, which was accredited to the Green Climate Fund in October 2017. The Ministry with responsibility for Environment in each of the pilot countries will serve as the Executing Entity for their country, and will benefit from capacity building in programming climate financing to vulnerable men, women and children.
More information on the Project may be found here.