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Mar 1, 2023

CDEMA’s Executive Director “The Investment Has to Be at A Transformative Level”

And while multi-hazard early warnings systems have yielded a great deal of success within the Caribbean, Executive Director Elizabeth Riley, of Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency,  says that to truly realize the vision of the UN Secretary General, as it pertains to early warning systems for all, there is a need for greater access to financing. Riley spoke candidly about the hurdles small island developing states face in their efforts to access the necessary funding for the implementation of these lifesaving systems.


Elizabeth Riley

Elizabeth Riley, Executive Director, CDEMA

“There are some pockets of financing that we had managed to secure since 2017 to move some of these initiatives forward, but one of the things I raised in the sessions this week is that if  we are really serious about delivering on the UN Secretary General’s initiative, the investment has to be at a transformative level. It cannot be small, protect based or pilots in the way that we have been treating issues around early warning system in the past. It has to be transformative. So this means we are looking at large pockets, larger envelopes to support the region. So, there are avenues out there but it is now about access to those avenues and who is eligible to qualify. This is one of the things I think is implicit in the statement by the statement by the UN Secretary General. He said early warning systems for all, he didn’t say early warning systems for those that are ODA eligible. This is an important point because it means that if we are to reach that target in a five year period, and we have almost concluded year one that we have to look in a very honest way at the financing opportunities and avenues for the countries sin the region, even those that have now graduated from being able to access different envelopes of funding.”

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