CDEMA announces new project to create resilience culture in region

Monday, April 11, 2016

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — The Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) yesterday announced a new project aimed at reinforcing disaster risk reduction and creating a resilience culture in the Caribbean.

CDEMA said that the "Strengthening Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies and Capacities for Resilience in the Caribbean" project in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) is supported by the Austrian Development Agency.

"The Caribbean is a region prone to different natural hazards such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, tsunamis and others. Most countries are Small Island Developing States (SIDS) which can be disproportionately affected by disasters due to their unique vulnerabilities. Climate change exacerbates the effects of disasters," CDEMA said.

It said the new project will contribute to strengthening disaster risk reduction monitoring capacities at national and regional levels in the Caribbean; increased knowledge and capacities for local resilience and community safety through enhanced capacities and commitment for safe schools and enhance risk-sensitive business investment.

Head of the Regional Office of the Americas of UNISDR Ricardo Mena, announcing the project during the Disaster Risk Reduction Development Partners meeting here last week, highlighted the importance of projects of this nature due to its contribution to the timely implementation of the Sendai Framework, applying an inclusive approach to disaster risk reduction involving key actors at regional, national and local levels.

He said that the harmonisation of the 2014-2024 Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy indicators and monitoring system with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction will facilitate national and regional reporting to both frameworks and is showcasing a good practice in the Americas region.

This initiative is co-funded by European Commission Directorate General for Humanitarian aid and Civil Protection.

CDEMA executive director, Ronald H Jackson, said that the partnership on this project will directly contribute to the delivery of the Caribbean Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy 2014-2024 which is the roadmap being utilised by the Caribbean Community member states towards the realisation of the Safer More Resilient and Sustainable Communities.

"This project is in keeping with the philosophy of Comprehensive Disaster Management of engaging all sectors of our society in the effort to build a culture of safety. The initiative will assist CDEMA to further its previously established programme for Safe Schools in the Caribbean and strengthen efforts to engage with the private sector on Disaster Risk Management Issues," he said.

He hailed the partnership between CDEMA and UNISDR as a model of how a global organisation can successfully collaborate with a regional or sub-regional organisation by finding common threads that allow the expression of shared goals and a common rallying theme of resilience.

"As we seek to deliver regional public goods and services to the people of the Caribbean we must seek to harmonise our efforts to ensure that the Caribbean, Community is able to maximise on the benefits that can be derived from donor support", he added.

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