Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has urged the international community to maintain relief efforts in the Caribbean, during a visit to Antigua and Barbuda on October 31, 2017
Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has urged the international community to maintain relief efforts in the Caribbean, during a visit to Antigua and Barbuda on October 31, 2017.
The Secretary-General has stressed the need to keep relief efforts high on the agenda two months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria left catastrophic damage on the islands of Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda.
She is visiting the region to discuss with its leaders, officials and aid agencies how Commonwealth support can aid in the process of finding missing persons and accommodation, as well as establishing access to clean running water, electricity, and social services.
In the two months since the natural disasters, the Secretary-General has been advocating for support for affected Commonwealth countries, including interventions at the United Nations General Assembly, World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meetings.
She has also ensured that Commonwealth finance and law minister summits focused on looking for solutions to climate change challenges and protection for the Commonwealth countries most vulnerable to them.
Finance Ministers, she said, had examined freeing up access to funding for climate action, in line with the opening of the Climate Finance Access Hub in 2016.
They invited a climate action expert to Antigua and Barbuda to help the government develop effective mitigation and adaption projects, with the same hoped for Dominica.
Meanwhile, Law Ministers have welcomed initiatives to revise climate change and disaster response laws to speed up disaster recovery processes.
This includes a new Office of Civil and Criminal Justice Reform, which will provide online resources such as model laws, best practice and reform guides, and legislative tools.
Beginning her visit, the Secretary-General said: “My father is Antiguan, and Dominica is the land of my birth.
“It is not easy coming home to devastation and destruction.
“I thank the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and the other organisations that have been working tirelessly to bring these countries to full recovery.
“I am confident that, with this and Commonwealth support, we can rebuild better and stronger.”
Read More: PM of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, addressed the Global Citizen Forum as keynote speaker in Montenegro on November 19, 2017, speaking on the devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean