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Barbados millions for climate fight

Regional 25 Oct, 2022 Follow News

Mia Mottley is celebrated for her climate change stance

Barbados, whose Prime Minister Mia Mottley, has championed the logic that small and developing countries desperately need debt relief and funding to survive climate change, has reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund that will make it among the first recipients from a new $45 billion resilience trust.

Under the program, Barbados is set to receive $183 million for climate-focused spending. The money will be used to replace segments of the island’s drinking water system and to shore up its supply of fresh water in the face of climate-driven drought. Barbados’ current water infrastructure was built by the British more than a century ago and loses about half of the water it carries.

The IMF has announced a similar agreement with Costa Rica for $710 million and another agreement with Bangladesh may soon be announced.

The trust funds are technically a loan, offered at low or “concessional” interest rates, to be paid back over 20 years after a grace period of a decade. The agreement is pending approval by the IMF’s board in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is calling on Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries to learn from the experiences of other regional blocs like Asia and the Pacific, in dealing with the impact of climate change.

“Dominica is fully prepared to share the lessons and experiences from its efforts at becoming the first climate-resilient nation in the world,” Skerrit told the opening of the two-day High-Level Conference on Building a Science and Data Based Agenda for Decision-making on Resilience in the Caribbean in Roseau.

Skerrit said that the reality is that climate change is already upon the region and while “we are already dealing with its impacts, not only are we seeing stronger, larger, more frequent storms, but more intense droughts, record heat waves, invasive species, among others”.

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