Representatives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat and Australia recently met at the Secretariat Headquarters in Turkeyen, Guyana, for the inaugural CARICOM-Australia high level meeting on the development assistance partnership. AU$17.5 million of the proposed AU$63.8 million (in a four-year span) will be set aside to support the region’s efforts to adapt to climate change and to manage the impacts of natural disasters. Here are excerpts with a link to the full article below:
Director-general of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), Peter Baxter pledged that Australia’s cooperation with the Caribbean Community will “see real outcomes and practical assistance.” Australia will provide AU$63.8 million in assistance to Caribbean countries over the next four years.
The meeting focused on the present technical cooperation relationship particularly against the background of the current global economic climate. The two sides discussed the various areas and modalities through which they could partner to improve the economic resilience of the Community, including the areas related to climate change and disaster risk reduction. Australia has committed to providing AU$17.5 million to support the region’s efforts to adapt to climate change and to manage the impacts of natural disasters.
The director-general announced that “the majority of this assistance for climate change is part of Australia’s global A$599 million fast-start climate change finance package announced in June 2010, and will support the work of key regional organisations and fund community-level activities across the Caribbean.” He also shared that about 25 percent of Australia’s fast start funding package will be targeted to the needs of small island states which are highly vulnerable to the likely impacts of climate change, like those in the Caribbean and in the Pacific.
The meeting also discussed Australia’s support to Haiti, including current and potential projects to assist in the reconstruction and development of the CARICOM member state. The government of Australia has been one of the first to provide to Haiti, immediately following the January 12 earthquake and again at the outbreak of cholera in October.
One of the modalities to be used in the CARICOM-Australia partnership will be people to people and institutional links. In this regard, Baxter also announced that an additional 30 scholarships for the Caribbean region, worth AU$3.8 million, would be granted over the next four years, increasing the overall number from 80 to 110 over the period.
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