IMCSP approved at the EB November 2019 session
The Caribbean countries included in this interim multi-country strategic plan are predominantly small island developing states, including overseas territories and three coastal countries. Although they face similar challenges they vary in size and resources. They therefore require a flexible multi-country approach that can address their individual needs and priorities while working in concert with overlapping political and economic regional initiatives to ensure successful and lasting outcomes.
The Caribbean is frequently exposed to natural hazards such as hurricanes, storms, floods and droughts; six Caribbean countries rank among the 30 countries worldwide most affected by weather-related disasters. Furthermore, climate-related disasters are expected to increase in frequency and intensity, accompanied by rising sea levels. The magnitude of future events could jeopardize progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and even reverse significant development gains, while paralysing national response capacities.
The small size and heavy debt burdens of most Caribbean states mean that regional cooperation is essential for the effective management of the risks that stem from such high levels of climate vulnerability. The vulnerability of some segments of their populations must also be addressed to ensure that no one is left behind. During the 2017 hurricane response, WFP found that social protection systems offered a point of entry for assisting affected populations, but these need to be reinforced with investments in data management, targeting, delivery mechanisms, coordination and financing.
Regional approaches, such as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency’s Regional Response Mechanism, offer an opportunity to overcome the fiscal and technical limitations of individual countries in emergency response. Experience has shown, however, that there are gaps in the coordination of local, national and regional capacities, assessments and logistics and distribution mechanisms, among other things. Poverty and deep inequalities continue to affect significant sections of the populations of Caribbean countries, leaving them vulnerable to food insecurity, obesity and other forms of malnutrition. Lessons learned exercises after the 2017 hurricane season led to increased demand for WFP to engage in disaster management beyond the response phase. Initially addressed through a multi-donor trust fund, this request and initial engagement have served as the basis for the development of this interim multi-country strategic plan. The response in the Bahamas to the 2019 Hurricane Dorian makes the case for investment in preparedness and increased pre-shock engagement and partnership with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and national counterparts throughout the Caribbean.
This two-year interim multi-country strategic plan will serve as the framework for WFP’s contribution to priority activities in the Caribbean, reflecting its dual mandate in supporting the humanitarian and development nexus. Strategic outcome 1 of the plan, aims to transfer traditional WFP emergency capacities to regional and national actors and to effect systemic changes that facilitate improved emergency response by local actors, thereby contributing to Sustainable Development Goal 17. While enhanced regional and national capacities will reduce the need for external intervention, the plan has a crisis response component to ensure the direct delivery of food assistance to affected populations (strategic outcome 2 – Sustainable Development Goal 2) as well as service provision (strategic outcome 3 – Sustainable Development Goal 17) to enhance the broader humanitarian response as needed. Any crisis response activity will maintain the capacity-strengthening emphasis of the overall plan and, where possible, these responses will be embedded within local and regional response structures so as to further support technical assistance efforts under strategic outcome 1, as was done in the Bahamas.
This interim multi-country strategic plan matches the timeline of the United Nations Multi-country Sustainable Development Framework for the Caribbean. WFP will contribute to three of the four priority areas of the framework: priority 1 an inclusive, equitable and prosperous Caribbean; priority 2 a healthy Caribbean; and priority 4 a sustainable and resilient Caribbean. The interim multi-country strategic plan is also aligned with the Small Island Developing States
Accelerated Modalities of Action Pathway, the Caribbean Community Regional Food and Nutrition Security Policy and action plan, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency Regional Response Mechanism, and national development plans, particularly as redesigned around the Sustainable Development Goals. While the common outcomes have been developed to capture WFP’s work across several countries, as is the case in the United Nations framework, the outcomes apply to countries individually.