The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) has got nearly 50 Expression of Interest (EoI) for its first ‘Call for Proposals’ for Infrastructure Resilient Island States (IRIS). This is a CDRI strategic initiative to support infrastructure resilience in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), said Amit Prothi, Director General, CDRI.

CDRI is a partnership of national governments, UN agencies and programmes, multilateral development banks and financing mechanisms, the private sector and knowledge institutions.

The IRIS steering committee will meet in Chennai this week to select 10-12 proposals out of the total 50, he told businessline on the sidelines of the third meeting of the G20 Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group in Chennai on Monday.

Sustainable development

CDRI promotes rapid development of resilient infrastructure to respond to the Sustainable Development Goals’ imperatives of expanding universal access to basic services, enabling prosperity and decent work.

IRIS is a dedicated initiative to achieve sustainable development in SIDS through a systematic approach towards resilient, sustainable and inclusive infrastructure. The aim is to provide technical support on multifaceted issues posed by infrastructure systems in SIDS. All SIDS from the Caribbean, Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Ocean region are eligible for support through IRIS.

IRIS aspires to equip SIDS with the knowledge, tools and partnerships needed to achieve disaster and climate resilient infrastructure. Resilient infrastructure will then foster sustainable development and enhance liveability for all in SIDS.

At the Climate Change Conference (COP26) held in Glasgow in in 2021, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and five other PMs of UK, Australia, Mauritius, Fiji and Jamaica launched IRIS to support small island States to help their capacities and infrastructure investment to become more resilient.

The amount of damage that can happen to the infrastructure in these SIDS affects them disproportionately more than other States. They are very vulnerable to disasters both climate related and also through other natural hazards, he said.

“We will support and build a pipeline of technical proposals for SIDS. We received 50 EoIs from various countries. A steering committee has been set up by CDRI on selecting the right proposals. The different donors contributing to it are in the committee as are representatives from SIDS,” he said.

There will be multiple calls for proposals. This is the first, and the second is planned to be launched in April next year, he said. In the first proposal, the key themes include risk-informed policy, implementation readiness, inclusion mainstreaming and access to finance actions. The priority sectors include transport infrastructure, power systems and coastal infrastructure.