OAS commits US$500,000 for resilience of Caribbean SMTEs

Friday, January 18, 2019

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THE Organisation of American States (OAS) has committed a total of US$500,000 to build the resilience of Caribbean small and medium tourism enterprises (SMTEs) to disasters.

The project, which is being executed over two years, is funded by the United States Department of State and managed by the OAS Secretariat for Integral Development.

Its overarching aim is to reduce the severity, impact and duration of disruptions caused by a disaster on the operations of SMTEs in the Caribbean.

The project will help to identify and address the macro (national) and micro (corporate) level challenges that affect business continuity during and after catastrophic events, as well as to build the capacity of owners, operators and staff of SMTEs to prepare, execute, review, test and update business continuity/multi-hazard contingency plans.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett expressed pleasure at the role the OAS has played in offering to be the first multilateral organisation to invest in the SMTE sector.

He was addressing a press conference at his New Kingston offices on Wednesday to provide updates on a number of events to take place later this month.

The minister said the organisation will launch the project during the second Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth concerning the SMTE sector, to be held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James on January 29.

Assistant Secretary General of the OAS Nestor Mendez is expected to be in attendance.

In an interview, country representative of the OAS in Jamaica, Jeanelle van GlaanenWeygel, said her organisation is always pleased to provide support to worthy projects.

Several other Caribbean countries are also expected to benefit from the project, including Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

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