The Government of Dominica says it is committed to implement the Disaster Resilience Strategy (DRS) in order to guide its efforts in becoming the first climate resilient country in the world.
According to a government statement issued recently, the cost of funding the interventions outlined in the DRS is approximately US$2.8 billion dollars or approximately EC$8.0 billion dollars.
“The Cabinet of Dominica approved of the Disaster Resilience Strategy as an Annex to the Climate Resilience and Recovery Plan (CRRP), which was published in May 2020,” the release said. “The Government is committed to implementing this Strategy…we believe that this strategy along with the NRDS and CRRP will guide our efforts at becoming the first climate resilient country in the world.”
The statement highlighted Dominica’s vulnerability to natural disasters of varying forms and intensity and for the past twenty (20) years, citing the devastating effects of disasters from low pressure systems and troughs to a category 5 hurricane—the worst of those being Tropical Storm Erica in 2015, and Hurricane Maria in 2017.
In aggregate, the country lost over 300% of its GDP and following Hurricane Maria, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance announced his intention to rebuild Dominica better into the first climate resilient nation in the world.
In February of 2019, the Deputy Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visited Dominica to discuss possible areas of support.
“During the visit, it was agreed that the IMF in collaboration with other development partners would assist government to prepare a Disaster Resilience Strategy (DRS),” the statement stated. “The purpose of the Disaster Resilience Strategy is to provide a comprehensive plan that includes the policies, cost, and financing for natural disaster resilience.”
A DRS, developed for Dominica in February 2020 with the assistance of the IMF, is premised on the three pillars of Structural Resilience, Financial Resilience and Post-Disaster Resilience.
Based on the progress that was made in structural resilience, the DRS took proposed that the country continue with twelve core investments to include road network, air transport and connectivity, seaport improvements, flood prevention, energy investment, health, housing, zoning and land use, water and sanitation, insurance, government self insurance fund, strengthening of private insurance to include low income households.
For Post Disaster and Social Resilience the four main propositions are food security, effective disaster response and recovery, national action plan for risk reduction and social data capture and improvement of social safety nets.
The full statement is posted below.