PM Terrance Drew emphasizes resilience food systems, infrastructure for development of SIDS

Prime Minister Dr Terrance Drew emphasized the significance of technology and resilient infrastructure and food systems for the development and prosperity of SIDS.

PM Terrance Drew emphasizes resilience food systems, infrastructure for development of SIDS
PM Terrance Drew emphasizes resilience food systems, infrastructure for development of SIDS

St Kitts and Nevis: Prime Minister Dr Terrance Drew emphasized the significance of technology and resilient infrastructure and food systems for the development and prosperity of SIDS. Speaking at the SIDS4, he outlined some critical elements and pointed out that there is a need to find the mix of policy, finance, and adaptation measures against climate change.

Outlining the significance of the Bridgetown initiative, PM Drew stressed that the cost of capital is too high for SIDS and the initiative will help to reform the international financial architecture which is imperative.

He further talked about the significance of technology for the growth of the citizens of SIDS and added that they should master the technology to enhance social equity and economic growth. PM Drew also explained the benefits of the resilient infrastructure for physical development, water, energy, and climate-smart hospitals.

He said that the SIDS will have to adopt the resilient food system as the Caribbean is projected to face a 10 to 20% decline in crop yields by 2050 due to climate change which is a concerning issue. Quoting the 25 by 25 agenda, he mentioned that there is a need to boost the agricultural sectors for food and nutrition security and such an agenda plays a crucial role in advancing the capacity of the region.

PM Terrance Drew also outlined the implication of the extreme weather events on the health structure of SIDS and added that mental health is also negatively impacted by climate change. The weather disturbances disrupt health services, causing poor treatment outcomes or deaths.

Highlighting the significance of the collaboration, PM Drew noted that there is a need for the South-South collaboration to take action for the health and future of small island development states and their people.

“There is a need for the building of the resilience that is the only situation for getting protected from the external shocks which threaten to push SIDS to the precipice of collapse, ”said the prime minister.

Prime Minister Dr Terrance Drew took the first flight of Sunrise Airways to travel from St Kitts and Nevis to Antigua and Barbuda for the 4th International Conference of SIDS on Monday morning. He shared glimpses in which he was sitting next to the airline’s CEO- Phillippe Bayard and expressed pleasure in the launch of the new air linkage.

He was accompanied by the delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate Action at the conference. PM Terrance Drew said,” I was honoured to take the first Sunrise Airways flight this morning from St. Kitts to Antigua with the airline’s founder and CEO, Philippe Bayard.”

The 4th International Conference of Small Island Developing States has been opened in Antigua and Barbuda on Monday under the theme- “Charting the course toward resilient prosperity.” Over 3000 delegates participated in the conference, which aimed at enhancing ways for resilience growth and the fight against climate change.

On the margins of the opening ceremony, Prime Minister Dr Drew met with the President of the General Assembly for the 75th Dennis Francis. The delegation also participated in a high-level event on the Caribbean-EU partnerships, aiming to enhance its progress and visibility in the framework of the Caribbean Regional Protocol of the Samoa Agreement.

The event also promoted engagement on several matters of concern with key EU investors.

Prime Minister Dr Terrance Drew also addressed the gathering and outlined some critical elements for the development and prosperity of SIDS.

The activities and events have been planned which will be held through May 30, 2024, in the presence of several business people, stakeholders, policymakers, and government officials of CARICOM. The gathering is considered historic as it marked the beginning of a crucial dialogue on sustainable development, climate action, and resilience for Small Island Developing States.

As the 2024 hurricane season approaches, the preparations against the impact of climate change have started in the countries of these states. The met department predicted that the season is likely to remain super active as 22 hurricanes have been named, out of which 6 would remain massive and strong.

The conference will be held to address the unique challenges faced by SIDS and the leaders expressed the platform would serve as the means for collaboration, innovation, and action.

Prime Minister Dr Terrance Drew and the delegation of St Kitts and Nevis will also participate in several activities and events to enhance collaboration and ways of fighting against climate change. PM Drew will also share his insights and highlight their agenda of becoming sustainable island states over the next few days.

Notably, at the opening ceremony of the SIDS, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres addressed the gathering and outlined that this is the duty of the international community to support small island developing states as they should be capable enough to deal with the challenges they face.