16 November 2017
European and Caribbean Banks Commit Millions to Reconstruction in Hurricane-Ravaged Islands
By Caribbean 360
BONN, Germany, Wednesday November 15, 2017 – The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) have set up an emergency post-disaster reconstruction financing initiative to help the region recover from recent hurricanes.
The new US$24 million financing package is an addition to the US$120 million Climate Action Framework Loan II signed in May this year, and which remains the EIB’s biggest loan to the Caribbean.
Eligible investments under the new loan will include infrastructure reconstruction, with a focus on “building back better” and integrating climate risk and vulnerability assessments into the projects. That will help reduce the Bank’s Borrowing Member Countries’ vulnerability to future natural disasters and worsening climate change impacts. As well as infrastructure, financing to communities for low-carbon and climate-resilience measures such as improved water resource management are also foreseen.
CDB President Warren Smith and EIB Vice President responsible for Climate Action, Jonathan Taylor, signed the new agreement during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 23) underway in Bonn, Germany.
Smith noted that the 2017 hurricane season has been one of the most devastating the Caribbean has ever experienced and said it underscored the urgent need for investment in climate-resilient infrastructure in the region.
“The signing of this agreement is another milestone in our longstanding partnership with EIB, and will facilitate CDB’s increased support for resilient reconstruction in the Caribbean. We remain committed to work with our partners to mobilize resources needed to ‘build back better’ and, despite the recent setbacks, help the most vulnerable countries of our region to remain focused on meeting their goals for sustainable development,” he said.
To date, CDB has committed all of the resources under the first Climate Action Line of Credit – US$65.6 million – for seven projects. That co-financing is associated with total project financing of US$191 million.
Taylor said the EIB stands committed to developing its fruitful 40-year partnership with the CDB, to support climate-resilient projects in the Caribbean and to help to adequately tackle the challenges related to climate change.