KINGSTON, Jamaica – Canada is committed to remaining a strong partner for Caribbean countries in these uncertain times and recognizes that the needs in the region are vast. Further to the recent announcement of Canada’s CAD $376K donation to Jamaica’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic through the Pan-American Health Association, the High Commission of Canada to Jamaica is pleased to outline the details of the Canada-CARICOM Climate Adaptation Fund.
The Canada-CARICOM Climate Adaptation Fund is valued at CAD $20 million and will be implemented by the Caribbean Development Bank.
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 Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) premiums and targeted technical assistance.
Through the Canada-CARICOM Climate Adaptation Fund, Jamaica will be eligible to receive CAD $4.7 million towards CCRIF premiums, which can be applied either towards 2020/21 premiums or combined to cover a portion of both 2020/21 and 2021/22 premiums.
In addition, a technical assistance fund is available for all CARICOM countries to develop innovative financing instruments, such as resilience bonds, to mobilize private investment for climate adaptation and resilience. This response directly to requests from CARICOM countries to find innovative and cost-effective solutions to fiscal and environmental challenges.
‘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.’
High Commissioner Peters further relayed, “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“.
Jamaica’s minister of finance and the public service Dr Nigel Clarke, during a courtesy call with 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. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic further highlights the importance of addressing how to build resilience and minimise vulnerability.”
Minister Clarke also highlighted “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. 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.”