Tuesday 11 August, 2020

Over $482m earmarked for Jamaica from Canada-CARICOM climate fund

Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke (right), during a courtesy call on Canadian High Commissioner Laurie  Peters.

Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke (right), during a courtesy call on Canadian High Commissioner Laurie Peters.

Jamaica is to benefit from the Canada-CARICOM Climate Adaptation Fund valued at over $2 billion (CAD$20 million).

A little over $482 million (CAD$4.7 million) has been earmarked for Jamaica towards Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRF) premiums, which can be applied either towards 2020/21 premiums or combined to cover a portion of both 2020/21 and 2021/22 premiums.

Since the announcement of the fund by Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, François-Phillippe Champagne in February 2020 at the CARICOM Intersessional, Canada has given careful consideration for how to implement this initiative in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on consultations with local governments and regional stakeholders it was decided to provide support for CCRIF premiums and targeted technical assistance.

In addition, a technical assistance fund is available for all CARICOM countries to develop innovative financing instruments, such as resilience bonds, to mobilise private investment for climate adaptation and resilience.

This responds directly to requests from CARICOM countries to find innovative and cost-effective solutions to fiscal and environmental challenges.

Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke (right)  shares a light a moment with Canadian High Commissioner Peters.

"While we are still in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Canada remains fully committed to continuing our support to Jamaica’s social, economic and climate resilience for the upcoming hurricane season and beyond," stated Laurie Peters, Canada’s High Commissioner to Jamaica.

The Canada-CARICOM Climate Adaptation Fund is a concrete demonstration of this commitment,” Peters was quoted as saying in a press release.

Peters further stated, “Canada hopes that this timely and targeted support will create fiscal space and free up domestic financial resources to allow Jamaica and other CARICOM countries to address the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis”.

The Canadian government recently donated $38.5 million (CAD$376,000) to Jamaica’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic through the Pan-American Health Association.

Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke, during a courtesy call on Canadian High Commissioner Peters remarked, “Jamaica’s susceptibility to natural disaster events is well-documented – flood rains, tropical storms, hurricanes and earthquakes are part of the Jamaican experience. Building resilience is therefore critical.”

He went on to note that the COVID-19 pandemic further highlights the importance of addressing how to build resilience and minimise vulnerability.

“Jamaica has developed a Disaster Risk Financing Framework which focuses on implementing a multi-year strategy with a menu of financial instruments, including our subscription to CCRIF, to manage the financing of disaster risk,” Clarke said.

He added: “We are therefore very appreciative of the Canadian Government’s support through the Canada-CARICOM Climate Adaptation Fund and technical assistance fund. This will go a long way towards assisting Jamaica in our Disaster Risk Financing Strategy.”

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