St Lucia is an island in the eastern Caribbean, with a population of nearly 180,000. Its economy depends mainly on tourism and banana exports, with some small-scale manufacturing. In total, DFID has allocated £75 million for the Caribbean from 2011 until 2015. As part of this, St Lucia will benefit from our regional programmes to help the Caribbean prepare for and reduce the risk from climate change and disasters. The UK also contributes to multilateral organisations that carry out a wide range of projects and programmes in the Caribbean. In 2010, UK contributions that benefited St Lucia amounted to £124,000. Most people in the Caribbean live close to the coast, vulnerable to the threats of storms, flooding and rising sea levels. When a hurricane hit St Lucia in 2010, 80% of the banana crop was wiped out, with a devastating impact on farmers’ livelihoods. The health and water sectors were also badly hit, and there was significant damage to buildings and infrastructure. DFID provided assistance through the Pan-American Health Organisation to help restore health services, provide clean water and avoid disease epidemics after the hurricane. DFID is helping vulnerable people across the Caribbean to be better prepared and equipped to withstand these threats, which are expected to get worse. UK aid will provide training, as well as practical measures such as safer buildings, improved water management and early warning systems. We are also developing affordable insurance to protect the livelihoods and assets of small businesses and farmers when disaster strikes. We are helping governments in the Caribbean region to plan ahead for possible disasters and the impact of climate change - for example through a climate change risk atlas and studies to assess the economics of climate change in the agricultural, health and tourism sectors in St Lucia. Knowing the problems they might face will make it easier to make a case for action, mobilise resources to scale up their efforts and ensure development gains are not lost. The UK is also a major contributor to the global Pilot Programme on Climate Change which has allocated around £40 million to develop climate resilience programmes for St Lucia and five other Caribbean countries. DFID also supports the development of innovative new renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, such as a bio-ethanol project in St Lucia which converts waste bananas into ethanol for fuel. In line with its aim of reducing poverty, DFID is also contributing from its regional budget to three major programmes designed to create jobs and increase exports across the Caribbean: £10 million for the COMPETE Caribbean scheme, delivered jointly with the Inter-American Development Bank and the Canadian International Development Agency, which will reduce red tape, streamline regulation, and help local firms break into new markets £10 million for CARTFund, a special fund to help Caribbean countries and their own regional integration initiative, CSME (the CARICOM Single Market and Economy) take advantage of a trade deal with the European Union. CARTFund helps in testing for product standards and provides support to the tourism, speciality foods and accounting sectors £4 million contribution to CARTAC, the IMF regional technical assistance mission. This provides advice and training for all English-speaking countries in macroeconomic management, monetary and taxation policy, statistics and debt management. In St Lucia, COMPETE is financing the cost of a plan to make the private sector more competitive. This includes establishing the National Competitiveness Productivity Council, which will promote the knowledge, skills and reforms needed in St Lucia to increase competitiveness. CARTFund is assisting the St Lucia Coalition of Service Industries to increase exports in four priority service sectors: professional services (architecture, accountancy, engineering and management consulting), cultural industries, health services, and communications technologies. The St Lucia financial sector also benefits from DFID’s £600,000 contribution to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, to help it regulate the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union. In common with the rest of the Caribbean, St Lucia suffers from the effects of organised crime. We are training and equipping law enforcement agencies, courts and special intelligence units in the Eastern Caribbean to investigate organised crime, confiscate criminal assets and reduce money laundering.
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