Disaster fund on the way
The Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (CDRRF) has moved a step closer to approving projects.
This follows its recent “first call for proposals” at its Barbados headquarters where its Project Technical Review Committee (PTRC) met to assess seven short listed project proposals.
Earlier this year organizations from 13 of the CDB’s 18 eligible member countries responded to the CDRRF’s first call for proposals for grants to finance community-driven projects to reduce risks associated with natural disasters and climate change in the region. After two application review stages, seven proposals from five countries were shortlisted for the PTRC review, which was held at the CDB, bank officials said.
Proposals examined by the PTRC ranged from the retrofitting of shelters and homes for the disabled and the elderly in Dominica, and a hurricane shutter enterprise in Grenada, to an initiative to protect farmers in a Trinidad community and projects aimed at strengthening the resilience of agricultural communities in Jamaica.
CDRRF project manager, Leslie Walling said the fund was designed “to provide direct and responsive support for projects addressing the disaster risk reduction and climate change resilience needs of our region’s communities”.
Walling explained that the PTRC review was stage three of the CDRRF project application approval process.
“The PTRC evaluated each proposal based on the degree of community participation and engagement reflected; its gender responsiveness; technical soundness of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation initiatives proposed and the project management and implementation capacity reflected. Proposals shortlisted by the committee will be refined and advanced to stage four- the CDB’s Loan Committee. The final stage of the process is project approval by the Project Steering Committee,” he said.
The Technical Review Committee included specialists from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre in Belize, the Caribbean Policy Development Centre in Barbados, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management in Trinidad and Tobago and the National Office of Disaster Services in Antigua, as well as from Canada’s Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade and Development (DFATD) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).
The CDRRF is a multi-donor trust fund established with financing from DFATD, DFID and the CDB. Grants to be awarded to community projects under the CDRRF will range in value from US$400 000 to US$650 000.
Its aim was to “provide assistance in reducing the vulnerability of Caribbean communities to the impacts of natural disasters and climate change”. The fund has also been set up to support the region’s climate change adaptation.
“Communities in the Caribbean are severely affected by climate change and extreme weather events. These events destroy crops, damage homes, disrupt livelihoods and can cause job losses, injury, sickness and death. They also damage roads, bridges and other infrastructure. Communities across the region are struggling to cope,” a description of the fund explained.
“The Community Disaster Risk Reduction (CDRR) Fund provides communities and their partner organisations with grant funding to help them avoid or reduce the impacts of extreme weather events, natural hazards and climate change.
“These groups and institutions can apply, on a competitive basis, for funds to implement community-based disaster risk reduction or climate change adaptation projects which will demonstrate clear, measurable benefits for local communities,” it added.
Officials also explained that since disasters affect men and women differently projects must not only identify and address the priorities and needs of both men and women, but “involve both men and women in project development, planning and implementation”.
“Projects that are successful will not only serve the needs of local communities. They will also become demonstration projects for communities across the Caribbean. A wide range of organizations may submit proposals to implement community-level. Eligible organizations include non-governmental organizations and community based organisations registered and based in CDB borrowing member countries, regional and national research institutions, and government agencies.,” the fund said.