Dominica is still reeling after being devastated by Hurricane Maria last month. Now, the Caribbean island nation renowned for its natural beauty, has the support of the United Nations.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made a historic visit to Dominica earlier this week to survey the damage and offer the intergovernmental organization’s support for the destination’s recovery.
“I have never seen anywhere else in the world [with] a forest completely decimated without one single leaf on any tree,” said Guterres.
The former Prime Minister of Portugal stressed the importance of financial aid in Dominica’s reconstruction efforts as well as the significance of curbing climate change for its future.
“It must be clear that the level of support that Dominica requires cannot be achieved through the traditional instruments,” Guterres said during a press conference with Dominica Prime Minister Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit on Sunday. “In an expression of the solidarity that this visit represents, [my concern is] to make sure that the international community fully recognizes that the intensity of hurricanes are not an accident. It is the result of climate change.”
“I regret to inform, the response has been poor. I urge donors to respond more generously in the weeks to come.”
#Maria decimated Dominica. We are standing by the people of this beautiful island for immediate assistance and long-term recovery. pic.twitter.com/rGpRO0JBnp
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) October 8, 2017
Skerrit echoed those sentiments, calling on other countries to lend a hand.
“We are literally at the mercy of developed countries,” he said. “We have to dig deeper into our consciences and recognize we ought not to leave a country like Dominica, without natural resources outside of its people, on its own to restore the 72,000 lives that have been shattered as a result of this hurricane.”
The Secretary-General also encouraged nations to execute the Paris Agreement climate accord and to “show more determination in moving towards a green, clean, sustainable energy future.”
Perhaps Dominica could lead the way. Looking forward, Skerrit is aiming to transform Dominica into the world’s first “green climate resilient country.”
With the support of Guterres and the UN, the Prime Minister will soon travel to Washington, D.C. to work on establishing the Climate Resilient Nation Fund for the country’s recovery.
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