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Sustained support for hurricane hit Caribbean countries

The steering committee established to spearhead the recovery process of countries hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, in September of 2017, have been moving ahead in the venture, information coming out from the CARICOM Secretariat stated.

Following the successful staging of the CARICOM-UN High-Level Pledging Conference at UN Headquarters in New York on November 21, 2017, the Steering Committee has continued to meet with a renewed focus on translating pledges into concrete programmes and initiatives.

The Steering Committee held its most recent meeting on Tuesday, January 9, 2018. The group is examining the option of a follow-up meeting to the Pledging Conference, to outline actions to meet the objective of building a more climate-resilient Community.

The committee includes representatives of the CARICOM Secretariat, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Regional Institutions and the CARICOM Member States including those that were hit by the hurricanes.

The Pledging Conference mobilised a broad partnership to support the rebuilding effort through US$1.3B in pledges and over US$1B in loans and debt relief. The support came from nearly 400 high-level representatives from governments, multilateral and civil society organisations and businesses, CARICOM said.

Back in November of 2017, while delivering remarks during the opening of the technical segment of the CARICOM-UN High-Level Pledging Conference in New York, CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque had called on entities partnering in the recovery process to rebuild to more resilient standards.

According to Ambassador LaRocque, the impact of hurricanes Irma and Maria has been devastating.

Irma and Maria – two category five hurricanes, hit the region during a two-week period in September of 2017, decimating decades of development gains in Dominica, Barbuda – the sister island of Antigua, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Anguilla. The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis and Haiti also suffered damage. Other Caribbean Islands, notably St. Maarten, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic were also significantly impacted.

By: Alexis Rodney

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