Donors commit to U.S. $2B in pledges and loans

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The CARICOM-U.N. High Level Pledging Conference on Tuesday received commitments of more than U.S. $2 billion in pledges and loans from scores of nations as hurricane-hit islands look to recover from September’s devastating storms.
Information from the UNDP indicate that there were more than U.S. $1.3 billion in pledges and over U.S. $1 billion in loans and debt relief. Recovery costs surpass U.S. $5 billion, according to the latest needs estimates.
Representatives from almost 400 governments, multilateral and civil society organisations and the private sector gathered at U.N. headquarters in New York to help countries aiming to “build back better” as the first climate-resilient countries in the world.
According to a UNDP report, over U.S. $1.35 billion were pledged by established partners and new ones, from the region and beyond.
The estimated amounts in U.S. dollars are:  $702 million from The Netherlands; $352 million from the European Union; $140 million from the World Bank; $78 million from Canada; $30 million from China; $27 million from Mexico; $12 million from Italy; $4.3 million from the United States; $4 million from Japan;  $1 million from Kuwait; $2 million from India; $1 million from Venezuela; $1.2 million from Belgium; $1 million from Chile; $500,000 from Denmark; $300,000 from Colombia; $250,000 from Haiti; $250,000 from New Zealand; $200,000 from Brazil; $150,000 from Kazakhstan; $100,000 from Romania; $100,000 from Portugal; and $20,000 from Serbia.
The Inter-American Development Bank has pledged U.S. $1 billion in loans, Italy, U.S. $30 million in soft loans while Venezuela forgave U.S. $1 million in debt for a more resilient Caribbean.
Tuesday’s event was also attended by former U.S. president Bill Clinton who urged the gathering to seize the opportunity presented to create the first climate resilient region.
“A disaster has given us the chance to literally have the world’s only laboratory that is both diverse but confined, confined in population, confined in geographic region and confined in cost, where we can test everything we all say we believe and see if we’re right or not.
“And if we are right on everything, you will have the moral solace of knowing you didn’t let Barbuda vanish from the face of the earth, you will have the political confidence to know that you didn’t let a man in a small place like Dominica, who thought big and long term in the future, go begging for want of a dollar or two.”
According to Clinton, the donor community will never get another chance like now “to do so much good, so quickly, for so little money.”  

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