NASSAU, The Bahamas, Dec 5, CMC – The 10th Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) has begun here with Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis noting that small-island developing states in the region are at great risk of climate change.
The conference, which ends on Saturday, is being held under the theme ‘CDM: The Road to Resilience Check Point 2017 – Building Resilience through Partnerships’.
It is taking place as the region continues the rebuilding efforts following the end of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season that saw two category five storms – Irma and Maria – cause widespread destruction and death across the Lesser Antilles as well as the Bahamas.
Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Anguilla, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the British Virgin islands were among the islands hard4est hit after the hurricanes pounded the region with winds in excess of 200 miles per hour.
Via CMC (more…)
Caribbean governments want to be “taken seriously” in humanitarian management, and this year’s hurricane crises are an opportunity for the UN to “let go”, says a senior regional official. The Caribbean is dealing with “something we’ve never experienced before” but proudly coping, Ronald Jackson, head of the 18-member Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, told IRIN, adding that CDEMA effectively playing a leadership role is a “glimpse of the future”.
— CARICOM (@CARICOMorg) September 28, 2017
At times, sharing and assigning responsibilities has been tricky in the rolling crises caused by recent hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria: Several sources close to the Caribbean operations had told IRIN of a tense relationship between CDEMA and parts of the deployed UN teams.
But Jackson, speaking to IRIN from the CDEMA office in Barbados, brushed such talk aside. He said CDEMA would play its mandated role at the forefront of the response and looked forward to a “posture of support” from the UN humanitarian system, which didn’t mean the UN should “disappear”. Referring to UN assistance in the past, he added: “you’ve held our hand while we crawled”, but now “we’re walking”.
Read more at: IRINNEWS
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) teams and disaster response mechanisms were mobilised and activated in response to the hurricanes that swept through the Region recently.
A letter issued by the Secretariat to the Stabroek News in response to an editorial published on 25 September, 2017, detailed the “the excellent work” carried out by CARICOM institution, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency CDEMA, other regional institutions and the international partners “in the face of dangerous and difficult conditions as they confront an unprecedented multi-country catastrophe.”
The letter pointed to the Community’s action before and after the storms hit.
“The Caribbean Community through its various agencies, led by CDEMA, has been the first responders on the ground assessing, rendering relief, evacuating the ill and infirm and performing the tasks associated with post Hurricane efforts,” the letter pointed out.
Ronald Jackson, executive director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency and Management Agency (CDEMA), said that the severity of the devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria, have not only challenged the immediate countries, but also the regional agency that is assisting with the relief efforts.
Speaking on OBSERVER AM yesterday, Jackson said that CDEMA has never before dealt with multi-jurisdictional disasters within such a short time frame.
“So many islands in the Caribbean are being impacted all at once, and at such high magnitude. We have had countries like Grenada and Jamaica which have had tremendous, widespread impact from hurricanes. This is now several that has led to the mobilisation of the regional response, across a wider geographic space, within the space of less than seven days,” he said.
Read more at: Daily Observer