ROSEAU: Dominica has signed an US$38 million agreement with the World Bank that will help the island deal with the impact of climate change.
“This project is going to address one of the main challenges of Dominica which is disasters and how to face disasters,” said World Bank official, Alessandro Legrottaglie, following the signing of the accord with Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit last week.
“Disasters have a negative impact on the livelihood, they destroy houses, infrastructure and more important they undermine the capacity of the government to deliver basic services to the most vulnerable segments of the population which usually live in the most remote and disposed areas of the country,” he said.
Legrottaglie said the complex project will improve the island’s capacity to prevent disasters and adapt to climate change and that the Washington-based financial institution was looking forward to strengthening its relationship with the Government of Dominica.
Skerrit said that he is pleased to sign the financing agreement which will give effect to the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR)/Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP).
“We are most grateful for the grant component from the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) in the amount of USD $12,000,000,” he said. “We are also happy (for) the Strategic Climate Fund loan of USD $9,000,000 and the IDA loan of USD $17,000,000 which is highly concessionary.”
Skerrit said that both interest rates stand at 0.5 per cent.
“The government of Dominica sees the financing arrangements under the PPCR and DVRP as fairly consistent with government’s fiscal policy and position,” he said. “We have always said that as far as possible we will mobilize grant resources instead of loans to undertake development interventions in this country.”
Skerrit said that the proposed interventions seek to reduce Dominica’s vulnerability to natural hazards and climate change impacts through investments in infrastructure as well as improved hazard data collection and monitoring.
“These interventions are comprehensive and will result in tremendous benefits to the residents of all the neighbouring communities. The project will seek to build the capacity of the country, to undertake risk,” he said.
The project will include the development of major roads and physical infrastructure as well as capacity building and an adaptation to climate change, formation of special data management systems, improving and expanding of climate change and seismic monitoring system, agro-forestry, food security and soil stabilization, sustainable land management and construction of storm drains.