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‘Building back better’: a resilient Caribbean

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Overseas Development Institute

203 Blackfriars Road

London

SE1 8NJ

United Kingdom

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‘Our devastation is so complete that our recovery has to be total’. This was Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit’s response after two Category 5 hurricanes struck Dominica within two weeks of each other in September 2017. Affected nations across the Caribbean were likened to ‘warzones’ as communities were left decimated.

Hurricanes are nothing new in the Caribbean: every year, they cause, on average, $835 million in losses. And our changing climates means we are likely to see more Category 4 and 5 hurricanes in the future. But while disasters are a common feature of the region's past, present and future, action for long-term resilience is needed now to avoid further human suffering, environmental degradation and the reversal of hard-fought development gains.

‘Building back better’ must be more than just a slogan. It requires recovery deliberations and financing negotiations to incorporate both short-term imperatives as well as long-term resilience needs that can be feasibly actioned.

In January, ODI convenes decision-makers and the world's leading experts on recovery and reconstruction in the Caribbean to discuss the policies needed at the national, regional and Commonwealth level to avoid future losses. A high-level panel sets out their priorities for making 'building back better' a reality.

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Overseas Development Institute

203 Blackfriars Road

London

SE1 8NJ

United Kingdom

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