CARICOM and major international private sector company discuss hurricane recovery

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CARICOM Chairman Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell (centre) and Virgin’s founder Sir Richard Branson (right) at the discussion forum on post hurricane recovery and reconstruction in Washington, Friday

CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and Founder of of the UK-headquartered Virgin Group of Companies Sir Richard Branson on Friday hosted a Discussion Forum on post hurricane recovery and reconstruction.  The event took place on the margins of this week’s annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington.

Several CARICOM Member States and Associate Members, including Dominica, Antigua/Barbuda, The Bahamas, Anguilla, BVI and Turks and Caicos Islands suffered from the destructive passage of Category Five Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September.  CARICOM has been at the forefront of the post hurricane recovery effort, including helping to coordinate a high-level Donor Conference.   Sir Richard, who has a home on Necker Island in the BVI, has been advocating a ‘Marshall Plan’ type recovery package for the devastated islands.

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Prime Ministers Gaston Browne of Antigua-Barbuda (2nd left) and Allen Chastanet of Saint Lucia (3rd right) along with Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque (right) among high level participants at the discussions with Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson

 

 

UK government to set up task force to build back hurricane hit countries

UK aid being delivered in Dominica after hurricane Maria. Picture: Pav Dhande/DFID
UK aid being delivered in Dominica after hurricane Maria. Picture: Pav Dhande/DFID

The UK government is to set up a private sector Task Force to help long-term reconstruction in countries and territories hit by last month’s Caribbean hurricanes, International Development Secretary Priti Patel will announce today (Friday, October 13).

It will mobilise private sector support to rebuild critical infrastructure such as roads and power supplies essential to get economies up and running again, and better withstand future natural disasters.

The team of top business leaders, either CEOs or Chairs with experience in the Caribbean, will sit on the Task Force.

Ms Patel will announce the Task Force at a meeting to discuss the response to the hurricanes and how to enhance global crisis preparedness and response, hosted by the World Bank in Washington D.C.

Read more at: United Kingdom Government

Today is International Day for Disaster reduction – Is this year’s string of hurricanes a sign of things to come?

Codrington, Barbuda after Hurricane Irma  (Photo via UN)

Joint Op-Ed by 

Achim Steiner is Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme www.undp.org

Patricia Espinosa is Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change www.unfccc.int

Robert Glasser is the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction and head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction www.unisdr.org

 

From Miami and Puerto Rico to Barbuda and Havana, the devastation of this year’s hurricane season across Latin America and the Caribbean serves as a reminder that the impacts of climate change know no borders.

In recent weeks, Category 5 hurricanes have brought normal life to a standstill for millions in the Caribbean and on the American mainland. HarveyIrma and Maria have been particularly damaging. The 3.4 million inhabitants of Puerto Rico have been scrambling for basic necessities including food and water, the island of Barbuda has been rendered uninhabitable, and dozens of people are missing or dead on the UNESCO world heritage island of Dominica.

The impact is not confined to this region. The record floods across Bangladesh, India and Nepal have made life miserable for some 40 million people.  More than 1,200 people have died and many people have lost their homes, crops have been destroyed, and many workplaces have been inundated. Meanwhile, in Africa, over the last 18 months 20 countries have declared drought emergencies, with major displacement taking place across the Horn region.

For those countries that are least developed the impact of disasters can be severe, stripping away livelihoods and progress on health and education; for developed and middle-income countries the economic losses from infrastructure alone can be massive; for both, these events reiterate the need to act on a changing climate that threatens only more frequent and more severe disasters.

Read more at Thomson Reuters Foundation

Message by the CARICOM Secretary-General on Caribbean Statistics Day

MESSAGE FROM THE SECRETARY-GENERAL,

CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY (CARICOM)

AMBASSADOR IRWIN LAROCQUE

 

ON THE OCCASION OF THE

NINTH OBSERVANCE OF CARIBBEAN STATISTICS DAY

15 OCTOBER 2017

 

 

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque
CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

This year’s observance takes place against the background of another significant achievement for Regional Statistics. CARICOM Heads of Government at their Thirty-Eighth Regular Meeting (July 2017) endorsed the preparation of a Regional Strategy for the Development of Statistics (RSDS) in CARICOM.  The endorsement of the RSDS initiative is in addition to their endorsement of the Action Plan for Statistics at their Thirty-Seventh Regular Meeting in 2016.

 These decisions on Statistics at the highest level of the Community reaffirm the recognition of the vital role of statistics in the development of the Region.   It is in this spirit that the National Statistical Offices of Member States agreed that the 2016 theme – “Improving the Lives of People – Advancing the Action Plan for Statistics in CARICOM”   should remain as the theme for this year’s observance of Caribbean Statistics Day.

CARICOM countries continue to face increasing demands for statistics that must be timely and reliable.  Evidenced-based decision-making is important in enabling the socio-economic development of countries and for the efficient management and use of resources. In particular, given the environmental concerns faced by CARICOM countries as Small Island and low lying coastal Developing States (SIDS), the timely dissemination of high quality statistics facilitates national policy development, planning and the monitoring and evaluation required for the achievement of successful outcomes. The importance of access to reliable data is a key factor in the recovery and rehabilitation efforts following natural disasters such as the recent Hurricanes Irma and Maria. (more…)