Special Envoy for the VIP government Benito Wheatley has renewed calls for the British Virgin Islands to be added to the list of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) that are eligible for international support if ever impacted by a disaster.
Wheatley made the call during the recently concluded High-Level Mid-Term Review of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action Pathway at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York.
He said: “The British Virgin Islands will continue to advocate for greater access and inclusion in international support to SIDS. However, the existing constraints in the international architecture necessitate that we also continue to seek out new partnerships to meet our objectives of climate resilience and sustainable development.”
Despite the major disasters caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria which devastated the territory, the BVI remains excluded on the SIDS list because of its per capita income which is considered to be too high to receive Official Development Assistance (ODA) grants from international donors.
“It is unfortunate that the British Virgin Islands continues to be denied access to the Green Climate Fund and Global Environment Fund that could assist greatly in helping us build greater resilience. We all must keep in mind that the effects of climate change and degradation of biodiversity do not discriminate based on political status or income level,” Wheatley added.
He also highlighted that the BVI continues to face major risks during the hurricane season which makes the recovery process extremely delicate considering how vulnerable the territory is to potentially new disasters.
Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.