Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund' third call reaps high yields

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The Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (CDRRF) moves into its fourth year of implementation with projections of significant increase in its project portfolio. This, as a result of the decisions made at the recently held Third Project Technical Review Committee (PTRC) meeting where nine of the ten submitted Project Application Documents (PADs) gained favour with the Committee. Four projects were recommended to move to appraisal stage, a due diligence exercise conducted by Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) prior to giving endorsement for the award of a grant. Another five were approved to benefit from Project Development Grants (PDGs) or in-house verification exercise to enhance the PAD submitted. The PTRC, comprising representatives of the Project donors, CDB and other technical experts is the body authorised to make decisions on CDRRF project applications. With the potential to surge the project portfolio to 13 in short order, Daniel Best, Chair of the PTRC and Director, CDB' Projects Department was very upbeat about the results. “We attribute some of this success to the project development and implementation workshop held in mid-2015. Applicants along with personnel in emergency management and social development providing technical expertise to communities were trained in the design of transformative projects fitting the CDRRF criteria, and that has potential to produce lessons for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation," remarked Mr. Best. CDRRF is now much closer to its expected quota for sub-projects. “CDRRF was designed to support 19 sub-projects to reduce vulnerabilities and build resilience to the impacts of natural hazards at the community level. Only two projects have so far signed grant agreements with another two under consideration," Mr. Best continued. Mr. Best further provided insights on some of the project ideas and was welcoming of the nod of support from the Committee. “Communities have put forward numerous innovative solutions to address risks. Projects have been designed to create smart communities, integrating all segments of society while others have merged local knowledge with modern technologies to build resilience and reduce vulnerabilities to multiple hazards including flooding and seismic activities impacting agriculture and other sectors. Importantly, given the adverse impacts of climate change on incomes, applicants have found creative ways to incorporate sustainable livelihoods opportunities into their projects. I am grateful to the Committee for their confidence in the solutions put forward," Mr. Best said. At the close of the Third Call for Concept Notes (CNs), 55 were received of which 52 were from community-based organisations and other qualified entities located in 12 of the 18 eligible CDB-Borrowing Member Countries. Of that amount, 14 CNs met the technical requirements of CDRRF and were recommended for PAD development and formed the basis for the PTRC' third sitting. Another 17 CNs, were supported with Project Development Assistance to enhance the document. Revised CNs returned by the deadline, are now under review within CDRRF' Project Management Unit. CDRRF is a six-year medium-size grant opportunity designed by CDB and funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada, Department For International Development of the United Kingdom and the European Union. In building community capacity for disaster risk management, CDRRF funds community-based and community-driven projects up to US$650,000 over a two-year period. Members of the PTRC include representatives for the Governments of Canada and United Kingdom. (L-R) Jean McCardle, First Secretary (Development), High Commission of Canada and Alternate Director for Canada on the CDB Board; Steven Hillier, Disaster Risk Reduction Adviser of the United Kingdom' Department For International Development; Shelly Bradshaw, Mitigation Manager, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management, Trinidad and Tobago and Celia Licorish, Administrative Assistant, Environmental Sustainability Unit, CDB.

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