Otine Beazer is a firefighter in Barbuda. When Hurricane Irma blasted through the window of his house, it didn’t only rip open the building by tearing off the roof and destroying most of his possessions, it also completely changed Barbuda Island. All 1,800 residents were evacuated and an estimated 90% of the properties on the entire island were damaged.
In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, China and UNDP joined hands to support the Governments in Antigua and Barbuda and the Commonwealth of Dominica to rebuild homes with urgently needed material aid. In addition, technical support on “Build Back Better” approaches was provided, introducing concrete steps for the affected areas to strengthen resilience through an upgrade of standards and building techniques.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) carry a hefty price tag of $2-3 trillion per year to accelerate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. New and innovative forms of finance and cooperation are needed. Various forms of private and public financing such as grant aid, concessional and non-concessional, investments, bonds and impact financing that build on national public financing, lay the foundation for development and innovation.
Institutions matter – the creation of China International Development Cooperation Agency. Since the 1950’s, China has been expanding its international cooperation under the framework of South-South cooperation. In February 2018, its first agency for international cooperation – China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) – was established. CIDCA’s task is to provide policy coherence and guidance for China’s international cooperation, particularly bridging foreign assistance, foreign policy and the Belt & Road Initiative.
Otine is unfortunately not unique. Shortly after Otine’s house was devasted in Barbuda, hurricane Maria brought massive destruction in the Commonwealth of Dominica – and a few weeks later, the 2017 monsoon season in Asia led to massive destruction and human suffering in Nepal and Bangladesh. In response to these and other crises, China and UNDP jointly supported more than 600,000 affected people in Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Nepal, and Pakistan.