Dominica PM urges more resources for disaster resilience and response

Dominica’s Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has urged the creation of a special fund to assist countries that are impacted by climate change.

Skerrit declared that those who contribute to the effects of climate change must help foot the bill.

He observed during an address here that the climate is changing.

“Why it is cold, for example, when it should be hot? Why is the ice in Arctic and Antarctica  melting? Why are our beaches being eroded and the sea encroaching on settlements?” The Dominica PM said, adding that there are many more questions that can be asked.

He was addressing the 43rd annual general meeting of the Saint Lucia Insurance Council Thursday at the Sandals Regency La Toc Resort.

According to Skerrit, those who do not acknowledge the reality of climate change are simply choosing to ignore the basic fact or are shying away from the responsibility of doing something about the impact of climate change.

Skerrit said the government and people of Dominica are extremely appreciative of the assistance provided by various parties.

However he expressed the view that much more resources need to be made available to build resilience and to respond to catastrophic events.

“Importantly, access to funds must be made easier and should be provided faster,” Skerrrit told local insurers.

“This is why we continue to press for a special fund that countries affected by the impact of climate change can access.”

“We see this as the responsibility of the countries which are the greatest contributors to climate change – it is a duty and an obligation,” the Dominica leader asserted.

He explained that countries like Saint Lucia, Dominica and other nations of the Caribbean contribute very little to greenhouse gases, but face the brunt of the destruction of climate change.

“In the case of my country for example, with damage and losses amounting to  226 percent of GDP and with a dollar value of 1.3 billion, one can well imagine the herculean task to raise the finances to bring the economy to where it was prior to Hurricane Maria,” the Dominica Prime Minister said.

Maria ripped through Dominica on September 18, 2017, exposing the Island to ‘extraordinary winds’  for more than three hours, according to a government post-disaster assessment.

 

 

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