IRIS initiative to Help Small Island Developing Nations

IRIS Initiative: The “Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS)” is a new initiative planned for helping the Small Island Developing Nations (SIDN) by creating a strong infrastructure and economic environment to help them resist natural calamities and reduce their impacts.

Small Island Developing Nations (SIDN)


SIDSN represents 58 countries in the Caribbean, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, and the South China Sea regions. Of this, 38 countries are the UN Member States and 20 are Non-UN Members/Associate Members of United Nations regional commissions. These countries are among the most vulnerable countries to geophysical and hydro-meteorological hazards.

They face unique social, economic, and environmental challenges. And, they continue to incur an average annual loss of 1.0% to 10.0% of GDP from frequent natural disasters like tsunamis, cyclones, earthquakes, and heavy rains.

IRIS Initiative

Some of the most vulnerable countries include Belize, Haiti, Samoa, Tonga Dominica, Sao Tome Principe, Fiji, Solomon Islands, St Lucia, Papua New Guinea. They need urgent infrastructure investments in sectors such as Water supply & Sanitation, Power supply, and Transportation & roads. Limited institutional capacity, scarce financial resources, and a high degree of vulnerability to systemic shocks are the common characteristics of SIDNs

IRIS Initiative being launched with initial funding of US$10m

IRIS is expected to be launched by India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Nodi on the sidelines of the upcoming global climate conference or COP26 in Glasgow, UK, scheduled from 31 October to 12 November 2021.

Earlier this year, Modi “We have to put the concerns of the most vulnerable nations and communities first. In this regard, the Small Island Developing Nations that are already experiencing the impacts of worsening disasters must have easy access to all the technology, knowledge and assistance that they consider necessary.”

The scheme has an initial fund of $10 million committed by Australia, India, and the UK. According to reports, more countries including Japan are expected to join this group.

Conclusion

Countries led by Australia, India, and the UK are launching an initiative called “Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS)” on the sidelines of the upcoming COP26 in Glasgow. This IRIS Initiative is mainly to help some 58 Small Island Developing Countries through infrastructure investments and technical assistance to make them capable of withstanding the repeated occurrence of natural calamities impacting their economies. The initiative has initial funding of $10 million, contributed by the said countries.

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