Commitment of pledges being sought
St. Maarten is among Caribbean territories and nations that suffered major damages by the stronger than usual 2017 attending a major international donor’s conference in New York.
The objective is to mobilize support and commitment of pledges to help the devastated countries to build back better and fulfil the vision of being the first climate resilient countries in the world.
The conference hopes to raise over 2 billion U.S. dollars, mostly in the form of grant aid, to help affected countries rebuild better, stronger and smarter ahead of next year’s storm season.
Canada is among donor countries that have confirmed its participation in the CARICOM-UN pledging conference.
The United Nations Development Program is coordinating the two-day meeting, taking place from November 21.
Dominica and Barbuda, the smaller sister island of Antigua, were among the Caribbean single trading bloc countries that were ruined by the 2017 storms, and most of the focus will be on these two. Officials say they have no plan to ignore the fact that associate members such as the Turks and Caicos Islands and the British Virgin Islands had also suffered serious damage.
Additionally, the region also has an interest in most of the others because of the large populations of nationals from the bloc living in places such as Dutch St. Maarten, French Saint Martin and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hundreds were evacuated with free flights back home in the days, after the storms.
For the two-day meeting, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, Western donor nations, including the U.S. and some of the wealthier countries in the Middle East are expected to attend.
St. Maarten is being represented by acting Prime Minister Rafael Boasman and support staff.