Secretary-General António Guterres walks through Codrington town in Barbuda to see firsthand the devastation left behind by Hurricane Irma. (UN Photo/Rick Bajornas)
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Oct. 9, 2017: U.N. Secretary General António Guterres yesterday said the islands of Barbuda and the Commonwealth of Dominica requires innovating financing in order to rebuild.
Guterres, who toured the islands over the weekend, seeing close up the damage Hurricane Irma caused in Barbuda and the decimation of Hurricane Maria in Dominica.
He said both islands need a different level of financial support that cannot be achieved through the traditional instruments.
Aerial view of the devastation in Dominica following successive category five hurricanes in September 2017. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
The SG toured Barbuda on Saturday and said he has “been in areas torn by conflict … I have seen earthquakes, I’ve seen storms […] I have never seen such a high-level of devastation like the one that I witnessed in Barbuda.”
After touring parts of Dominica and seeing firsthand the damage wrought by Maria, the SG noted that he has “never seen anywhere else in the world a forest completely decimated without one single leaf in any tree.”
Gutteres called for “new financial instruments, bonds of different natures, and a new way to look into the debt of these countries and to transform it into an instrument of reconstruction and resilience.”
“This is an obligation of the international community, because they are suffering the effects of climate change but they have not contributed to it,” he added.