BARBADOS / DOMINICA – Deputy secretary-general for economic and global issues of the European Union’s External Action Service, Helena König will visit Dominica on 12 October.
König will officially hand over climate-resilient houses that were built as part of the country’s reconstruction, following the devastation of hurricane Maria in 2017. The homes are located in the vulnerable Kalinago territory where descendants of the country’s indigenous people reside.
After the handover, König will meet with prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit to exchange on issues of common interest.
The reconstruction effort was part of a 19.6 million Euro grant funding from the European Union to assist the government of Dominica in rebuilding the country as the first Climate Resilient nation in the world. This included the construction of 50 houses and two climate-resilient emergency shelters, repairing of a least 1,000 structures, and the rehabilitation and upgrade of public buildings. The two shelters can house more than 300 persons during an emergency.
EU action also facilitated the implementation of the National Resilience Development Strategy and the mainstreaming of building back better standards and resilience across the country’s administration.
Deputy secretary-general König, said:
“I am pleased to be here in the Nature Island of Dominica to witness the European Union’s contribution to the country’s outstanding recovery effort in the aftermath of the widespread destruction by hurricane Maria. I am well aware of the risks Caribbean countries face during each and every hurricane season – just recently we were reminded of this again with tropical storm Philippe.”
This is deputy secretary-general König’s second visit to the region this year and it comes as a follow-up after the Summit between the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the EU on 17-18 July 2023 in Brussels.
The visit also takes place in the run-up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai at the end of November. Earlier this week the deputy secretary-general visited Jamaica as well as Trinidad and Tobago.
On leaving Dominica, König will continue her travels to Barbados. Important topics for the visit include the new Agreement with the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), including the EU-Caribbean Protocol, that replaces the previous Cotonou Agreement; climate action, climate finance and the reform of the global financial architecture; the implementation of the Global Gateway Investment Agenda and the presidency of CARICOM. All of this is in the context of current global challenges such as Russia’s war against Ukraine, the situation in Haiti and recent events in Israel/Palestine.
– The Global Gateway Investment Agenda (GGIA) is the EU’s offer to bridge the existing investment gap in the areas of fair, green and digital transition, by using EU public financing to leverage private capital and investment for projects that deliver on key public policy objectives. Energy transition and water management are the two priorities areas identified for the GGIA in the Eastern Caribbean, along with regional priorities such as maritime transport and addressing sargassum.