Sustainability of CDEMA vital – CARICOM Heads of Government

COCHOG emphasises sustainability of CDEMA: PM Hubert Minnis of The Bahamas (r) makes an intervention during the Heads of Government Meeting (Photo via OPM Grand Bahama)
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Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have emphasised the need for the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to be sustainable given its mandate and the range of post-disaster support CARICOM Member States require.

In a Communique issued on Saturday following the Thirty-Ninth Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the CARICOM leaders noted the key role that CDEMA was playing in helping governments to have full control of the Emergency Response and Early Recovery phases of a disaster.


On Friday, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, the Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis underscored the importance of CDEMA being financially sustained.

“If we are serious about CDEMA, we must increase the funding,” he told ZNS Television on the final day of the Thirty-Ninth Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM held in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Listen:

Building disaster resilience was one of the main topics that the Heads of Government discussed during the Meeting which was held 4-6 July.

See excerpt from the Communique on Building Disaster Resilience:

BUILDING RESILIENCE: DISASTER MANAGEMENT AND RECOVERY STRATEGY FOR THE COMMUNITY

Heads of Government reviewed the Region’s disaster management and recovery programme. They recognised that the vulnerability of CARICOM Member States to national hazards and the effects of climate change remain key challenges to sustainable development and that innovative approaches were required in the era of superstorms.

Heads of Government also recognised that the building of the Community’s resilience involved the interaction of social, economic and environmental policies while enhancing physical infrastructure. They emphasised that Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) remains core to the achievement of a resilient Caribbean Community.

They noted that the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) had a key role in facilitating national governments to have full control of the Emergency Response and Early Recovery phases of a disaster and that sustainability of the Agency was therefore of vital importance, given its mandate and the range of post-disaster support Member States require.

They urged Member States to promote and maintain the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) coordinated by (CDEMA) and encouraged the International Community to align its support with this mechanism including early recovery.

Heads of Government also urged the various Councils of the Community to give special consideration to regional sectoral programmes designed to build resilience with the intention of expediting implementation of recommended actions.

Heads of Government took note of the Regional Preparatory Meeting to the Mid-Term Review of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action Pathway (S.A.M.O.A. Pathway) to be held in Belize from 6-9 August, 2018.

They recalled that the Small Island and low-lying coastal Developing States (SIDS) Framework had its origin in the Barbados Programme of Action of 1994 further complemented by the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation (MSI) of 2005 and the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway (Samoa Pathway) of 2014. This places specific focus on the unique vulnerabilities of SIDS and provides the basic framework for international cooperation.

Heads of Government expressed concern at the slow pace of implementation of the SAMOA Pathway and agreed to work closely with the International Community in the 2019-2024 period to strengthen implementation.

Heads of Government expressed their appreciation for the contribution of Mr. Milo Pearson who has retired after serving 11 years as Chair of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIFSPC).

Heads of Government were also updated on preparations for the 24th Meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP 24) in Poland and encouraged participation at the highest level. In that regard, they issued a Declaration on Climate Change which is attached to this Communique. The Declaration provides guidance to Member States in their preparation for participation in COP 24.

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