World Central Kitchen (WCK), in a philanthropic partnership with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s non-profit Archewell Foundation, completed the construction of the first of four relief centres in the Commonwealth of Dominica. The venture aims to provide relief and resilience on the Caribbean island of 72,000 and heal and strengthen regions prone to climate disasters.
In a two-hour televised interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired in the UK on Monday night, Markle said that she and Harry would continue the service work which they did as former royals through Archewell now. Last month, after Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Harry and Markle would not return as working members of the royal family, the couple said that their service is “universal” regardless of their title.
According to the WCK website, Markle and Harry’s relief centres in Dominica, in times of crisis, could quickly be “activated as emergency response kitchens, and through calmer times they can serve as food distribution hubs, schools, clinics, or community gathering spaces for families.” The projects are being brought to life with the support of local Dominican non-profits and the Ministry of Education.
In 2017, Hurricane Maria, a deadly Category 5 storm, devastated Dominica. Much of the housing and infrastructure were also destroyed, while the island’s lush vegetation was close to eradicated. However, in the face of such a challenge, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit became a beacon of hope and rose to the challenge. He not only ensured that more than 5,000 Dominicans would be able to relocate into new weather-proof homes, but he also embarked on an ambitious goal to make certain that Dominica becomes the world’s first climate-resistant nation.
Much of the funding to rebuild the nation came from Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Programme. The initiative enables reputable global individuals to acquire second citizenship in exchange for an investment into the country’s economy. After passing all due diligence checks, applicants can make a one-off contribution to the Economic Diversification Fund, which channels the money into building new, hurricane-proof public housing and working towards providing its entire population with clean energy through a geothermal plant. Applicants can also choose to invest in pre-approved real estate, which currently comprises seven luxurious hotels and resorts, all of which promote Dominica’s flourishing ecotourism.
For the last four years, Dominica has been ranked as the world’s best offering for CBI by experts at the Financial Times’ Professional Wealth Management magazine. The report, titled the CBI Index, highlighted the programme’s exemplar due diligence procedures, affordability and efficiency as some of the reasons why Dominica’s CBI remains on top.