The government of Dominica is to receive grant aid of US$1,658,000, courtesy of the government of Japan, for the procurement of disaster reduction equipment.
The equipment, which is said to be of high quality, will be utilized to make Dominica a more resilient country in the field of disaster reduction.
A signing ceremony for the grant was signed at the Ministery of Finance Conference Room on Friday morning.
Deputy Head of Mission and Minister Counsellor of the Embassy of Japan, based in Trinidad, Masatoshi Sato said the grand aid program represents the realization of Japanese support promised by Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzō Abe.
“The first Japan/CARICOM summit held in July 2014 the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzō Abe announced the country’s policy pillars, which included providing support for CARICOM countries in the area of disaster risk reduction,” he said. “This grand aid program represents the realization of the Japanese support promised by Prime Minister Abe at a summit meeting which was also attended by the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica. It is our hope that this grant aid program will not only significantly reduce the disaster damages in the Commonwealth of Dominica in the future but will also support the Commonwealth of Dominica in adapting itself to climate change.”
He stated he strongly believes that the provision of Japanese reduction equipment through the grant aid program will not only enhance relations between Japan and Dominica but, “will also deepen mutual understanding and friendship between the two nations.”
Minister for Justice, Immigration and National Security, Rayburn Blackmoore said it is the government’s intention is to rebuild a more robust physical infrastructure following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika.
“We are currently in an effort to rebuild Dominica,” he noted. “Our intention, therefore, is to build a more robust physical infrastructure ensuring that what we do now if going to be much better…What we intend to do therefore is to turn the challenges brought about by Tropical Storm Erika into opportunities.”
The Minister revealed that a team from Japan will visit Dominica “in due time” as it relates to other projects involving the installation of early flood warning systems in a number of communities, namely the Roseau Valley, Paradise Valley, lower Bath Estate, among other areas.
It is said that the warning system was impacted by the December 24th 2013 trough, which caused tremendous flooding in the areas mentioned and the recent devastation by Erika on August 27th completely destroyed the warning system.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Francine Baron said Japan’s official development assistant to Dominica has been great and has consisted primarily of Technical Corporation, including technical training in Japan and the dispatch of experts through the JICA program and also grant aid, “ which includes grass assistance for the grassroots human security projects for fisheries and industrial products.”
Baron stated further that through JICA the government of Japan has extended several technical corporation training opportunities to Dominica.
“In areas as diverse as administration, public utilities, transportation, agriculture, tourism, trade and commerce, human resource development, health and medical care, fisheries, communications and broadcasting,” she explained
Dominica established diplomatic relations with Japan in 1978.