Lima, Peru - April 14, 2018

Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hosted a roundtable discussion with leaders from Caribbean nations as part of his participation in the Summit of the Americas. He announced during the event that Canada would provide over $30 million toward Caribbean reconstruction and climate resilience efforts for 2017-2022, of which $25 million will be in addition to Canada’s previous pledge of $100 million for this purpose.

Projects announced include:

Gender-Responsive Community Building ($5 million, Canadian Red Cross) – 2017-18 to 2021-22

This project will support local Red Cross societies in implementing gender-responsive and community-based disaster risk management and climate change adaptation tools, with a focus on those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The project will scale-up community resilience using existing disaster management planning tools in 20 communities. At the regional and national levels, the project will build on the established relationships between the Red Cross movement, the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and national disaster offices to enhance the gender-sensitive practices of these authorities with regard to resilience and climate change.

This support will be counted against Canada’s $100 million pledge noted above, and recipient countries include Belize, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.

Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility ($10 million, Inter-American Development Bank) - 2017-18 to 2020-21

This project will support sustainable growth and market-access for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Caribbean, with a particular focus on women-owned SMEs. It will promote SME innovation and inclusive green growth solutions that increase the financial resilience of Caribbean communities.

The Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility supports the transition to greener and more inclusive growth across the Caribbean region through activities that:

  1. use gender-focused technical assistance to increase the capacity of regional and national institutions supporting SMEs;
  2. promote gender responsive challenge funds for innovation and solutions to climate change related problems; and
  3. introduce gender responsive policy reforms to unlock bottlenecks to economic growth.

The objectives of the project are to support SMEs to grow, innovate and enter new sectors and markets sustainable, especially for women-led businesses; and to promote the growth of SMEs in the Caribbean in order to make them more financially resilient. This is expected to result in support to 1,166 SMEs and the generation of 10,000 new jobs (50% for women and youth).

This regional initiative builds on the successful pilot project, Compete Caribbean (2010-2017), which created over 11,000 jobs, 80% of which went to women. The project will be jointly funded by the International Development Bank and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.

This project will complement Canada’s $100 million pledge noted above, and recipient countries include Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago

Skills to Access the Green Economy ($15.25 million, Colleges and Institutes Canada) – 2018-19 to 2021-22

This project will create a better qualified labour force in seven Caribbean countries by supporting demand-driven technical and vocational education training (TVET) in key economic sectors associated with climate change. It will support efforts to link women and youth, educational institutions and employers with national training-for-employment programmes. This will help improve the competitiveness and ability of SMEs, helping them better respond to the opportunities and challenges associated with climate change.

The project will train more than 2,000 students (50/50 male/female) in the areas of water and coastal management, ecotourism, agriculture, and construction; increase the capacity of six national training agencies and six training institutions to develop and deliver gender-sensitive, demand driven, TVET programs; and increase the capacity of at least 30 targeted SMEs to implement gender-responsive workplace skills assessments and training programs.

The project will build upon the successes of the CARICOM Education for Employment project, through which 16 institutional partnerships were successfully developed and implemented between Caribbean TVET institutions and 20 Canadian colleges/institutes, and almost 2,000 students in new TVET programs were enrolled.

This project will complement Canada’s $100 million pledge noted above, and recipient countries include: Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, and St. Lucia.

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