CDEMA and PAHO deepen collaboration with signing of new Memorandum of Understanding

Nassau, Bahamas, May 28, 2010, (Nassau, Bahamas) – The Caribbean Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) solidified their growing cooperation with the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two agencies yesterday, at the Sheraton Hotel, Nassau, Bahamas.

The MOU’s overall objective is to ensure support for the mainstreaming of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) at national levels and the promotion of its incorporation in the health sector within Caribbean countries.

Making remarks before the signing Dr. Jean Luc Poncelet, PAHO/WHO Area Manager in Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief for Latin American and the Caribbean, declared, “You can count on PAHO.  We want to do something for you and with you.”

He said that the focus of PAHO is to make an increasing difference in countries to reduce the health risk after disasters and in effect reduce morbidity and mortality.  Dr. Poncelet noted that under the previous MOU signed 18 years ago with the then Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) much has been accomplished in the region.

Illustrating progress in the region, Dr. Poncelet referenced the Safe Hospital Initiative noting that it was created using the Caribbean experience after Hurricane Hugo and has now been adopted worldwide.

Executive Director of CDEMA, Jeremy Collymore, noted that much has changed in the community of disaster management practice and the global environment since the first MOU was signed.

“We now have a regional framework, the Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) strategy for structuring and prioritizing our cooperation.  It is in this regard that I wish to use this forum to thank PAHO for readily accepting and providing leadership of the CDM Health Sector Sub-Committee.”, he said.

Collymore commended progress in the region with regard to DRR and Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM).  

“We have also come from an era where National Disaster Organisations (NDO) were undefined and poorly resourced, to one where clear structures are articulated and resource levels significantly enhanced even if still considered inadequate.  We have also

evidenced the articulation of Regional Response Mechanism, model legislation, plans and protocols”, he said.

Technical Manager, Preparedness and Country Support, Andria Grosvenor in welcome remarks noted that the signing of the MOU is a critical component that facilitates the advancement of CDM which supports sustainable development in the region.

Ambassador Joshua Sears, Chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of CDEMA also spoke at the ceremony and thanked PAHO for their contribution to the Region noting that he has witnessed the increasing interaction in the Region by PAHO.

Captain Stephen M. Russell, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Bahamas Director noted that PAHO has been a vital partner regionally for capacity building. The ceremony was witnessed by Regional National Disaster Heads and donor partners who are in the Bahamas for the first TAC Meeting of CDEMA.

The full speeches of the Executive Director of CDEMA and pictures of the Signing Ceremony are available at the CDEMA website at

For more information please contact:

Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management
Building #1, Manor Lodge
Lodge Hill, St. Michael
Tel. No. (246)-425-0386
Fax No. (246)-425-8854
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


CDEMA Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. Resilience Way, Lower Estate, St. Michael Tel: (246) 434-4880, Fax: (246) 271-3660
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