US$15.8M in new climate mitigation funding to region announced

…as US Rep to UN hopeful for quick roll out of funding

The United States (US) has announced new funding to the tune of US$15.8 Million for regional climate adaptation efforts and US Representative to the United Nations (UN), Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, is hopeful for a quick rollout of funding.
On Monday, the Spokesperson for the US Mission to the United Nations, Nate Evans, announced that $15.8 Million in funding would be made available to the Caribbean. This funding is part of US$43 Million in United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funding that had previously been highlighted at Caricom.
During a press conference also held on Monday, Thomas-Greenfield was asked about timelines for rolling out US funding to the region. Specifically, she was asked about plans for US$100 Million in blended funding for the region from the Caricom Development Fund (CDF) and the United States that had also been announced this year.

US Rep to the UN, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield

“The funds were announced immediately. And we hope to get them out immediately. I didn’t announce a timeline. Timelines always get all of us in trouble. But I can tell you that our plan is to provide these funds immediately,” she said.
The Ambassador also spoke about her discussions with President Dr. Irfaan Ali and other CARICOM Heads of Government, noting that issues such as climate resilience and food security were high on the agenda.
“We did discuss climate change, food security, climate resiliency. How to address all of those issues. They were top, front and center in our discussions. And my opening statement to Caricom, our partnership, to continue to focus on those issues. Food security is an issue that I too have focused on during three security council presidencies. And this is something we’re working very closely with the government on.”
“The President announced that he wants to ensure that Guyana is self-sufficient in grains and beans and other products that can be produced here. And that we open up trade lanes and trade barriers to other countries in the region, so that they can support each other. We committed funding to support climate resiliency in the region, as well as for Haiti. And we will continue to work on those issues,” she further explained.
The US Mission to the UN had also provided further details on how the US$15.8 Million in funding will be spent. For instance, US$5.8 will go towards reducing “threats to coastal-marine biodiversity and build the resilience of coastal communities in the Caribbean to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change.”
It was explained that the program will focus on preserving endangered ecosystems and species such as mangroves and coral reefs, as well as communities of sharks, rays, marine turtles, and more. The work will also enhance climate resilience and the well-being of local communities including women, youth, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ, and indigenous people.
Meanwhile, US$10 Million of the money will go towards improving water institutions in Haiti, which has been grappling with a break down of law and order, as well as certain government services, since the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.
“This support will help institutions plan for the financing and delivery of safe and reliable drinking water services before, during and after shocks and stresses such as climate crises, health pandemics and civil unrest. With this support from USAID, one million Haitians will have access to climate-resilient sources of safe water,” a statement from the US Mission to the UN said.
Guyana has been vocal in its call for increased climate adaptation funding. A few weeks ago, when President Ali presided over a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) debate on the impact of climate change and food insecurity on the maintenance of international peace and security, he had reiterated this call. (G3)