H.E. Pierre Simon Georges, minister of environment, Haiti, (left) and Monica La Bennett, vice-president (operations), CDB, (right), discuss how the project will positively impact the lives of Ile-à-Vache's residents.


H.E. Pierre Simon Georges, minister of environment, Haiti, (left) and Monica La Bennett, vice-president (operations), CDB, (right), discuss how the project will positively impact the lives of Ile-à-Vache’s residents.

CDB launches project to improve resilience in Ile-à-Vache, Haiti

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – On March 3, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the government of Haiti launched a project to improve climate resilience and disaster risk management on Ile-à-Vache, an island off the country’s southern peninsula.

The Building Capacity for Disaster Risk Management and Climate Resilience Project is being funded through a CDB grant of USD$5.5 million, which includes a contribution of USD$896,000 from resources provided to CDB under the African Caribbean Pacific-European Union-CDB-Natural Disaster Risk Management in CARIFORUM countries.

The island of Ile-à-Vache has five main villages and a population of approximately 15,000 particularly vulnerable to the impacts of tropical storms and hurricanes.

“Recurring floods and storms that affect the island damage the livelihoods of [people] who depend on fishing and agriculture,” said Monica La Bennett, vice-president (operations), CDB, noting that the project has the potential to transform the lives of the people of Ile-à-Vache. “This project aims to increase the resilience of Ile-à-Vache residents to natural hazards and impacts caused by climate change. This is key to social and economic development, and the systematic reduction of poverty. It is part of broader efforts by the government of Haiti to make investments that increase the resilience of all the people of Haiti and improve their life chances.”

Minister of Environment for Haiti H.E. Pierre Simon Georges noted that the project will also directly benefit the population through multi-sectoral interventions. He said that the government of Haiti was keen to ensure that the project is implemented in the shortest possible time. He noted that Ile-à-Vache, with a population of 15,000, is particularly vulnerable to climate change, adding that, within the framework of the project, the island will benefit from investments in in electricity, potable water and fisheries management, which must all be strengthened to increase resilience to climate change.

Key project components include:

  • formulation of a disaster risk management-climate change adaptation plan; a climate-resilient spatial plan; an early warning system; and a public education and awareness programme;
  • enhancing capacity to develop and implement a sustainable fisheries and coastal ecosystem management programme, including planning for viable livelihoods options and employment opportunities for the residents of Ile-à-Vache;
  • improvement of access to potable water, by installing water purification equipment at community water supply points in Madame Bernard and Baleraze and monitoring of water quality and availability;
  • increased access to efficient, affordable electricity for households, businesses and public administrative services, through the installation of a mini-grid system in Madame Bernard.