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Caribbean Community Annual Country Report 2021 - Country Strategic Plan 2020 - 2022

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In 2021, countries across the Caribbean continued to be challenged by the impacts of the climate crisis, increasing national debt and weakening economies, and the ongoing pandemic. For persons living in situations of poverty and vulnerability, loss of income and rising food insecurity persisted into 2021 despite greater access to markets due to the lifting of movement restrictions, relative to 2020. In April 2021, La Soufrière Volcano erupted, resulting in the displacement of 23,000 people, 21 percent of the population of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines [1]. The 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season was forecasted as above-average activity. Guyana was impacted by floods in June and the passage of category one Hurricane Elsa affected Barbados [2], Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in July [3].

WFP significantly expanded its operations in 2021 to respond to rising needs as countries responded to the impacts of these shocks on affected persons, working with Caribbean organizations and deepening partnerships with governments through tailored technical assistance. WFP's partners made it possible to directly meet the increased needs of those most impacted by COVID-19, La Soufrière volcanic eruption or Hurricane Elsa across six countries [4], assisting 83,572 people with cash, voucher and food transfers, surpassing planning figures for persons assisted [5]. WFP also provided emergency logistics common services to the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and humanitarian actors, in partnership with the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency, and supported a nationwide food distribution in Jamaica, targeting households of elderly persons. To strengthen preparedness in the region, WFP initiated the process to construct a Regional Logistics Hub for the Caribbean, which aims to act as a central Caribbean hub for emergency response. WFP’s support to national emergency responses made it possible to deliver lifesaving assistance through government systems, while also providing an opportunity to invest in systems strengthening through digitalizing processes, investing in assets, and further developing human resource capacities. Taking full advantage of this opportunity, WFP collaborated with governments to implement unique and innovative pilots to improve current and future response efforts. Working with social protection ministries, WFP helped to strengthen systems related to registration and verification of affected persons, vulnerability analysis and mapping, monitoring of programmes, and delivery mechanisms.

A significant milestone was attributed to WFP’s partnership with the Commonwealth of Dominica, contributing to a climate risk insurance policy that, once triggered, would allow for a percentage allocation of insurance payout to rapidlyassist those most affected through national social protection systems [6]. Specialized initiatives also include work to increase women’s access to digital finance solutions, part of a global WFP initiative to tackle gender inequality. The WFP multi-country office for the Caribbean has had to adapt how its capacity strengthening programme is delivered given that face-to-face engagement continues to be a challenge. In 2021, WFP expanded its research in shock responsive social protection, publishing two additional country case studies and a special study on migration and displacement within the Eastern Caribbean [7]. WFP also completed training programmes in shock responsive social protection and emergency logistics, developed in partnership with regional and national partners. However, implementation of capacity strengthening interventions continues to be impacted by various restrictions due to the pandemic, in some cases slowing or stalling implementation.

WFP's experiences since opening the office in mid-2018, including the past two years through an interim strategic plan, have shaped the next five-year strategy [8]. WFP continues to strengthen its engagement with United Nations agencies, leading efforts in social protection and logistics for resilience building, contributing to gender-responsive and gender-transformative outcomes and in the achievement of wider United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. A strategic partnership with the World Bank has also been instrumental in extending support to affected persons in Saint Lucia [9] and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines [10], allowing for longer-term support and bridging the gap between response and recovery. This partnership also provides for greater sustainability of WFP’s capacity strengthening investments, which complement projects supported by the World Bank at the national level. By building the capacity of regional and national organizations, WFP's technical assistance ensures that 1.5 million people also benefit from stronger institutions that can better respond to their needs in times of crisis.

Data Notes:

Data Notes:

To produce estimates of the total number of unique beneficiaries WFP has assisted yearly, the data from all activities and transfer modalities must be adjusted to eliminate overlaps and add new beneficiaries. Further background information is provided in the summary tables annex of the ACR

For the 2021 reporting period, disability data has been collected using a variety of approaches; the WHO 15 percent global disability prevalence average, head counts in single activities, or disaggregation of data from post distribution monitoring reports (PDMs). As standardised guidance was not available in WFP prior to 2020, these methods have varied according to the existing needs, capacity, and experience of various WFP activities and operational contexts. Moving forward, as part of the 2020 disability inclusion road map, WFP is building on continued efforts to mainstream and standardise disability data collection methodologies, aligning with international standards and best practices.

[1] UNDP. Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) - St Vincent and the Grenadines. August 2021 https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Executive%20Summary%20SVG%20PDNA%20Volcanic%20Eruption.pdf

[2] This was the first hurricane of its kind to hit the island of Barbados in 65 years.

[3] ECHO Daily Flash. July 2021 https://reliefweb.int/report/haiti/caribbean-hurricane-elsa-gdacs-noaa-nhc-cdema-un-ocha-media-echo-daily-flash-05-july

[4] British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

[5] While WFP surpassed the number of planned beneficiaries, it was able to come under the estimated budget owed to lower USD cost per person, per day in one or two countries.

[6] DOMINICA SIGNS DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT WITH UN WFP. 21 December 2021 https://www.preventionweb.net/news/dominica-signs-disaster-risk-management-agreement-un-wfp

[7] Publication on shock responsive social protection can be found here: https://www.wfp.org/publications/research-programme-shock-responsive-social-protection-caribbean

[8] WFP’s 2022-2026 multi-country strategic plan will be presented to the Executive Board in February 2022.

[9] Saint Lucia and WFP partner to expand coverage of the public assistance programme as part of the national COVID-19 response. https://unsdg.un.org/latest/announcements/saint-lucia-and-wfp-partner-expand-coverage-public-assistance-programme-part

[10] World Bank Provides US$20 Million for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ Response to La Soufrière Eruption. https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2021/04/12/world-bank-provides-us-20-million-for-saint-vincent-and-the-grenadines-response-to-la-soufri-re-eruption Data on disability reflects data collected during post-distribution monitoring exercises for Jamaica and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, estimated based on the number of households that indicated having someone living with a disability.

Regarding national results for the SDG, there is limited data across countries supported for prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity in the population, based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES) and prevalence of undernourishment. This is further complicated by the multi-country context.