The Honorable Bruce Golding, Prime Minister of Jamaica, Distinguished Representatives of Government, Invited Guests, Conference Delegates, Members of the Media, and Other Partnersin Disaster Management:

This 4th CDM Conference is taking place at a critical anniversary juncture in the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) historical landscape in the Caribbean. These include the initiating, thirty years ago, of the dialoguing on actioning a regional isaster preparedness and prevention programme which gave birth to the infamous Pan Caribbean Disaster Preparedness revention Project (PCDPPP); the birthing of ODIPERC, now ODPEM also thirty years ago; the pioneering international conference on disaster mitigation twenty five years ago in Ocho Rios; and theagreement of the Conference of the Heads of Government of CARICOM twenty years ago in Grande Anse, Grenada to establish a regional inter-governmental framework for coordinating its policies and programmes in DRR, CDERA now CDEMA.

The focus of this year’s International Day for Disaster Reduction is Hospitals Safe from Disasters. Today Wednesday October 14, 2009 is dedicated to highlighting the importance of strengthening the capacity and resilience of health facilities and health systems against the impact of disasters. Health systems inclusive of equipment, medical data and personnel need to remain functional at all times. Yet, experience has taught the global community that health facilities and the services that they offer are often severely impacted when disaster strikes. To read more click here

The 2009 International Day for Disaster Reduction focuses on the safety and function of hospital and health facilities in disasters. In 2009, the force of natural calamities has been revealed once again. Recent typhoons in the Philippines, Vietnam and China, the tsunami in Samoa and the earthquakes in Indonesia, the West African floods and Kenya’s chronic drought conditions are reminders of how vulnerable we are to natural hazards and extreme weather events. To read more click here

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