Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet is backing the formation of a Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Foundation.
Chastanet spoke in an interview at the United Nations Trade Forum 2019 in Geneva .
He made the comments while discussing the devastation caused in the Bahamas by the recent passage of Hurricane Dorian.
The PM wondered aloud whether the devastation would be the ‘tipping point’.
He said that over the years he had learned that the bureaucracy and the process of systems are so strongly embedded in institutions that it makes it difficult for them to adapt to the ‘new normal’.
“Everybody is using the word new normal, but you are not seeing the consequent action to go with it,” he lamented.
“We have come up here to say that the solution that we have come forward with that takes into consideration the difficulty of these institutions to change and the appreciation that we are not in control of out own destiny, is for us to be able to create our own SIDS Foundation,” Chastanet stated.
He explained that the initiative would create a governing structure that would hopefully meet everybody else’s standards.
“It’s an institution that can take on assets, so it means that the debt can be confined to the foundation and certainly would now allow us to focus on the physical infrastructure which would go a long way in reducing the impact,” the Saint Lucia PM said.
He expressed the view that in this way it would be easier to recover.
“Unfortunately there’s not 100 percent resilience that you can build,” Chastanet observed.
“Saint Lucia getting 36 inches of rain in 48 hours – there’s no amount drains that you can built that will cope with that, but you can certainly minimise the impact considerably,” the PM asserted.
He also stressed the need to be in a constant state of preparedness.