October 5, 2017
United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres is expected to visit Barbuda this weekend to survey the damage and asses what more the United Nations can do to help the recovery effort.
Guterres, speaking at a press conference in New York on Wednesday, described speeches by Prime Minister Gaston Browne and Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit at the UN General Assembly in September, as “some of the most important speeches during that period.”
The UN chief will also visit Dominica during his tour.
Outlining the UN response to the recent hurricane ravages, Guterres noted that, to date, the United Nations and partners have provided: 18 tons of food; 3 million water purification tablets; 3,000 water tanks; 2,500 tents; 2,000 mosquito nets and school kits; 500 debit cards for cash assistance, to the Caribbean region.
“We have launched appeals for $113.9 million to cover humanitarian needs for the immediate period ahead,” he said.
“But on the whole, I regret to report, the response has been poor. I urge donors to respond more generously in the weeks to come.”
Guterres added that the UN was strongly committed to helping small island states and all countries to adapt to inevitable climate impacts, to increase the pace of recovery and to strengthen resilience overall.
Reiterating his statements from the General Assembly, Guterres said while we should not link any single weather event with climate change, extreme weather was predicted by scientific models.
“It is rare to see so many storms of such strength so early in the season,” Guterres added.
The UN Secretary General called for more innovative financing mechanisms to enable countries, like those in the Caribbean, to cope with external shocks of such significant magnitude.
“We know that the world has the tools, the technologies and the wealth to address climate change, but we must show more determination in moving towards a green, clean, sustainable energy future.
“That is why I will convene a Climate Summit in 2019, as you know” Guterres said.