“Climate change represents one of the greatest challenges in human history. It is no longer a hypothesis, but a fact that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are among the most vulnerable to climate change, with Caribbean SIDS especially being exposed to more frequent and intense climate events. Paradise as we know it is under severe threat,” Durant stated.
“Sustainable sources of funding for disaster risk management, including increasing access to concessional resources and targeted instruments, is a critical imperative to help the region build adaptive and climate-resilient infrastructure,” he said.
Building resilience also involves advanced budgeting and planning, the director indicated, adding that disaster risk management strategies in the economic domain must be developed and can include natural disaster and pandemic escape clauses in financing instruments, as well as budget reallocation, external credit, temporary tax increases and donor assistance.
According to Durant “In small, open economies where foreign exchange earnings are critical to the orderly functioning of the economy, the interruption and extended loss of earnings erode foreign exchange buffers, interrupt livelihoods, create unemployment and usher in additional complications for macroeconomic management, frequently requiring countries to seek foreign exchange support, reorder development priorities and postpone the implementation of medium-term strategies.”