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Building back better in the Caribbean

A dozen people are gathered around a water hand-pump

Country: St. Lucia © Glen Simon

Like many Caribbean countries, St. Lucia is at risk of hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts, floods and landslides, and has faced the additional challenge of curbing the COVID‑19 pandemic this year.

Conventional public financial-management systems are often ill-equipped to facilitate rapid response to disasters, while maintaining transparency and accountability in times of emergency. With the help of the Canada-Caribbean Resilience Facility, and in partnership with the World Bank, work was already underway to make St. Lucia’s public financial management system more agile.

When the COVID‑19 crisis struck, St. Lucia was able to make several quick fixes to its public financial management system to quickly respond to the pandemic. Experts provided through the Facility worked with the Ministry of Health to develop emergency budgets and action plans to fast-track access to contingent financing. Through this financing, the Government of St. Lucia has been able to finance health-care services, including tests and medical support, as well as establish a respiratory facility and a new isolation unit.

This support has not only contributed to a more effective response to the COVID‑19 outbreak in St. Lucia, but has put in place lasting changes that will enable the country to respond more adeptly to future natural disasters and emergencies.

Project profile — Canada-Caribbean Resilience Facility

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