The Japanese government is to make available US$15 million to aid eight CARICOM countries in adjusting to climate change. The grant will be executed through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
It is a gesture CARICOM welcomed as the government of Japan and the UNDP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will pave the way for disbursement of the Japanese grant aid under the “Project for Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership”.
CARICOM Chairman and Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne said; “we welcome Japan’s recognition of the vulnerabilities to small island and low-lying coastal states.’ He noted the challenges of these small islands categorized as middle income in obtaining concessionary financing.
Speaking at a media briefing at the end of the first CARICOM-Japan Summit at the Trinidad Hilton, Browne said that a case has to be made by developing states such as Japan for new alternative sources of development financing to be made available to CARICOM states and other middle income countries with similar vulnerabilities.
CARICOM is seeking Japan’s assistance, Browne said in advocating on behalf of the regional grouping in forums such as the United Nations, G8 and G20 countries to better understand the problems CARICOM countries face.
Browne said CARICOM governments have expressed an interest to enter into discussions with private Japanese financiers who could provide development financing to the region.