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Eastern Caribbean Community Resilience Programme

The Eastern Caribbean Community Resilience Programme (ECCRP) aimed to build the resilience of countries in the Eastern Caribbean region to natural disasters and the impacts of climate change. The programme is funded by the United Kingdom government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and implemented by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

According to the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Hurricane Maria resulted in total damage of EC$2.51 billion (US$931 million) and losses of EC$1.03 billion (US$382 million), which amounts to 226 per cent of 2016 gross domestic product (GDP). The identified recovery needs for reconstruction and resilience interventions, incorporating the principle of ‘building back better’ (BBB) where possible, amounting to EC$3.69 billion (US$1.37 billion).

While events such as Hurricane Maria may affect entire countries and disrupt national economies, the impacts at the local level are often most felt, especially by low-income residents whose homes and livelihoods are particularly vulnerable to flooding, wind damage and landslides. In addition, many communities have experienced localised events that have not affected the rest of the country to the same degree. One such example is Tropical Storm Erika which affected Dominica in August 2015, wreaked severe destruction on several communities, for example, Petit Savanne, and causing damage estimated at over US$480 million.

The OECS Commission has been working with vulnerable communities in the Member States to increase their resilience to climate change and natural hazards. Interventions to date include safety equipment for fishermen; mangrove restoration; river bank stabilisation; the development of community emergency plans, training in areas such as emergency response and proposal writing for community groups and community awareness activities. The objectives of such interventions are to:

  • Sensitise the targeted communities;
  • Enhance management and organisational capacities at the community level
  • Empower and support communities in their resilience-building efforts
  • Enhance the resilience of community-level infrastructure, ecosystems and livelihoods

Many development partners support the OECS Commission’s community resilience interventions: Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility- Separate Portfolio Company (CCRIF SPC), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The ECCRP supports the priorities of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), a regional mechanism created to provide insurance coverage for Caribbean countries against natural disasters. The programme includes several components:

  1. Strengthening disaster risk management: This component supports the implementation of disaster risk reduction strategies and national disaster risk management policies and plans. It also provides training and capacity building to government officials and civil society organisations.
  2. Enhancing critical infrastructure: This component focuses on the repair and reconstruction of critical infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, and buildings, to reduce vulnerability to natural disasters.
  3. Improving water management: This component aims to enhance the management of water resources, including water supply systems, wastewater treatment, and drainage systems, to reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts.
  4. Strengthening economic resilience: This component supports the development of policies and programmes that allow the economy to bounce back and recover quickly when negative things (recession or disasters) happen while promoting sustainable growth. 

The ECCRP is currently in 10 countries in the Eastern Caribbean, including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The programme aims to benefit over one million people in the region.

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