Dominica has received US$2-million of equipment from Japan for disaster response and reduction which will aid in responding to climate change.
The grant was signed between the two countries on Thursday under Japan’s Social Development Programme.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Francine Baron said the grant adds an important dimension to the strong and fruitful relations between Dominica and Japan.
“This grant of 220-million yen or US$2-million worth of disaster reduction equipment goes beyond Japan’s initial provision of emergency support,” she said. “It will strengthen our capacity to pre-position vital pieces of equipment and thus enable us to respond quickly in the event of future disasters.”
She said immediately after Hurricane Maria, Japan was among the first to respond to Dominica’s appeal for emergency relief supplies with the country’s ambassador Mitsuhiko Okada, expressing concern.
“He mobilized support and personally flew into Dominica to hand over relief items,” she stated.
Meanwhile, Okada said his government is committed to supporting developing countries in enhancing their response to climate change.
“Japan, as a proactive contributor to world peace and stability and as a nation with many small islands, has been active in tackling climate change issues,” he stated. “Japan fully recognizes the vulnerability of small island nations in the Caribbean. For the Commonwealth of Dominica, in particular, the Government of Japan gave out emergency supplies twice in two years: first after Tropical Storm Erika and second after Hurricane Maria. In addition, Japan has just signed an exchange of notes with the UNDP for a project that aims to strengthen the disaster management capacity in the Commonwealth of Dominica.”
He said the signing of the grant was part of Japan’s global effort in responding to climate change.
“This grant will be used to purchase equipment such as generators, water pumps, sleeping cots, response vehicles and telecommunication equipment which will help the command and logistical capability of the Commonwealth of Dominica’s national disaster management system,” Okada remarked. “I also believe that the proper equipment will help the government and people of Dominica in recovering from the damages inflicted by Hurricane Maria and enhance their preparedness for future extreme weather events.”