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CARIBBEAN | OECS chairman meets with OECD on ODA to the Caribbean

OECS Chairman, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet (left) and OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria OECS Chairman, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet (left) and OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria
PARIS, Oct 10, CMC – Chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Allen Chastanet Tuesday held talks with the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Angel Gurria on ways to bolster official development assistance (ODA) to the Caribbean.

Chastanet, who is also the St. Lucia prime minister, said that unprecedented events suggested that a new era of climate reality was upon the Caribbean and that an enhanced international development assistance framework was urgently needed to combat what was likely to be severe growing threats to the region.

Chastanet and OECD

The meeting here came less than a month after Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused widespread damage in several Caribbean countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla. The hurricanes were also blamed for the deaths of several people in the Lesser Antilles.

“As one Caribbean family spread across Small Island Developing States (SIDS), we don’t lack resilience but we do lack disaster management resources and the meetings I have had with Secretary General Gurria has proven fruitful in fortifying OECD assistance” Chastanet said.

““While ODA in the main has been used to promote economic development through a number of financial instruments, we are examining a classification of these funds to ensure they are also used as post disaster recovery assistance to arrest a rapid decline in economic activity following climate change led disasters.

“I will now be meeting with the World Bank to progress further long term assistance to the region” said Prime Minister Chastanet.

OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules, who was also present at the talks, said that the science was beyond dispute and that the OECS would be advocating for major economies to confront climate change “as the greatest moral and economic challenge of our time” during the COP23 meeting in Bonn, Germany.

“Small Islands Developing States are often the most climate affected members of the global community but are the least contributors to global warming resulting in devastating socio-economic effects on people, places and communities.

“I am confident that no matter how crushing the recent hurricanes were, they will be a timely reminder to the international community that we cannot and must not meet this challenge alone as we collectively re-build into a more resilient region” said Jules.

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countrie have complained that due to their high per capita incomes, they have advanced or “graduated” from the low income Least Developed Country (LDC) designation to Upper Middle Income and as a result obtaining concessionary loans for development have become extremely difficult.

  • Countries: Caribbean
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