CARICOM countries to benefit from new Mexico-FAO initiative

SANTIAGO, Chile, Jun 15, CMC – At least 14 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries will design multiple projects to mobilize resources from international sources allowing them to improve the resilience and adaptation of their agriculture, food systems and rural communities to change climate.

The projects will be funded under a new initiative created by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID).

FAO Director General, José Graziano da Silva, and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Luis Videgaray, signed the agreement that creates the fund with an initial budget of US$500,000.

They said that the money will be used as a pre-investment resources that will mobilize millions of dollars for resilience and adaptation projects.

“Thanks to the support of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation, 14 CARICOM countries will design 27 projects to mobilize resources against climate change,” said the FAO Director General.

“We all know that the Caribbean is one of the region’s most vulnerable to climate change. We saw it in the last hurricane season, when the islands of Dominica and Barbuda were practically destroyed,” said Videgaray during the signing agreement in Rome.

The countries that will develop the projects are: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Ten of the projects will be presented to the Green Climate Fund, 12 to the Global Environment Facility and five to various European Union mechanisms. They will focus on vulnerable rural communities facing climate risks.

The fund between Mexico and FAO will also support CARICOM countries develop their institutional and technical capacities for planning, decision-making and project management, to enable them to better cope with natural disasters and extreme weather events, the FAO said.

Mexican experts and specialists from FAO will work side-by-side with their Caribbean counterparts in the design and implementation of the projects.

“The fund is a combination of financial resources and human resources,” Videgaray said.

Both the FAO and Mexico say building resilience requires improving the quality of infrastructure through actions such as rectification and strengthening of river channels and burying power lines, but these are expensive investments and the Caribbean countries do not always have the necessary capital to implement them.

“That’s where international funds come in. This initiative from Mexico and FAO will allow countries to obtain much needed resources that are currently available but that many times Caribbean countries cannot access, because their projects have to improve from a technical standpoint,” Videgaray said.

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico explained that the fund signed between FAO and Mexico is an agreement open to other countries.

“We already have the good news that the government of Canada is going to come on board with resources. And this is key because the challenge is enormous. We must recognize that the Caribbean is not generating climate change but that it is one of the most affected regions, so we all have the responsibility to contribute, ” Videgaray added.

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SANTIAGO, Chile, Jun 15, CMC – At least 14 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries will design multiple projects to mobilize resources from international sources allowing them to improve the resilience and adaptation of their agriculture, food systems and rural communities to change climate.

The projects will be funded under a new initiative created by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID).

FAO Director General, José Graziano da Silva, and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Luis Videgaray, signed the agreement that creates the fund with an initial budget of US$500,000.

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They said that the money will be used as a pre-investment resources that will mobilize millions of dollars for resilience and adaptation projects.

“Thanks to the support of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation, 14 CARICOM countries will design 27 projects to mobilize resources against climate change,” said the FAO Director General.

“We all know that the Caribbean is one of the region’s most vulnerable to climate change. We saw it in the last hurricane season, when the islands of Dominica and Barbuda were practically destroyed,” said Videgaray during the signing agreement in Rome.

The countries that will develop the projects are: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Ten of the projects will be presented to the Green Climate Fund, 12 to the Global Environment Facility and five to various European Union mechanisms. They will focus on vulnerable rural communities facing climate risks.

The fund between Mexico and FAO will also support CARICOM countries develop their institutional and technical capacities for planning, decision-making and project management, to enable them to better cope with natural disasters and extreme weather events, the FAO said.

Mexican experts and specialists from FAO will work side-by-side with their Caribbean counterparts in the design and implementation of the projects.

“The fund is a combination of financial resources and human resources,” Videgaray said.

Both the FAO and Mexico say building resilience requires improving the quality of infrastructure through actions such as rectification and strengthening of river channels and burying power lines, but these are expensive investments and the Caribbean countries do not always have the necessary capital to implement them.

“That’s where international funds come in. This initiative from Mexico and FAO will allow countries to obtain much needed resources that are currently available but that many times Caribbean countries cannot access, because their projects have to improve from a technical standpoint,” Videgaray said.

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico explained that the fund signed between FAO and Mexico is an agreement open to other countries.

“We already have the good news that the government of Canada is going to come on board with resources. And this is key because the challenge is enormous. We must recognize that the Caribbean is not generating climate change but that it is one of the most affected regions, so we all have the responsibility to contribute, ” Videgaray added.