Providing training to protect livelihoods in Dominica after Erika

Tropical Storm Erika displaced thousands of people in Dominica in 2015, including 800 of the 900 residents who live in the villages of Petite-Savanne and Dubique. In response to the pressing needs of the displaced residents of these two communities, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) provided training that assisted them in resuscitating and protecting their livelihoods through CDB’s Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) Programme. It also prepared residents to better respond to future natural disasters. The training took place from April to November in 2016.

The need for the initiative was articulated by the Government of Dominica through the Ministry of Social Services, Family and Gender Affairs and the Ministry of Planning Economic Development and Investment. It was determined that, despite the immediate relief assistance the two displaced communities were receiving from the State, they needed support to become more resilient to natural disasters in the long-run.

“They needed assistance that enhanced their coping skills and mechanisms, to make them more resilient as they transition to new locations away from their communities of origin.  Opportunities to start new, sustainable livelihoods following displacement are essential to the community’s survival, gender equity and prosperity,” said George Yearwood, Portfolio Manager (Ag.), BNTF at CDB.

The sustainable livelihood and capacity enhancement training programmes focused on the following areas:

  • enterprise development for women;
  • non-traditional skills development for men and women;
  • management of a transition programme for displaced communities; and
  • disaster risk reduction and management.

Gender sensitisation was mainstreamed throughout the training programmes, which were carried out under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Services, Family and Gender Affairs in collaboration with the Red Cross, and the Dominica Planned Parenthood Association. 

This capacity enhancement programme was funded with a grant of USD79,500.