Disaster coordinators convene for Sub-Regional meeting

National disaster coordinators and senior government officials from Barbados and across the region are better equipped to respond to natural disasters and hazard impacts in their respective jurisdictions.

Word of this has come from a senior official at the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) whose department recently facilitated the second annual consultation of officials of the Central Sub-Region of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency's (CDEMA) system, which recently came off on May 8 and 9 at the DEM's, Warrens headquarters.

According to the official: "The two-day meeting provided the opportunity for policy and operation level interaction and relationship building in order to support sub-regional operations.  In addition, participants were familiarised with the outcomes of the sub-regional focal point assessment and guide on actions and next steps; as well as the opportunity to offer input into the logistic and sub-regional plan development process."

The meeting brought together officials from Barbados, Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

One of the key activities of the meeting was also a short simulation exercise which tested the mobilisation of resources within the region.

CDEMA is currently facilitating consultations as part of a broader initiative of the €1.8 million ACP-EU funded Disaster Risk Management three-year Sub-Regional Programme, which seeks to build the resilience of nations and communities in the Caribbean to hazard impacts.

The consultations, which were held for the first time in 2011, in each of the four CDEMA sub-regions are now scheduled as part of the annual programme to improve the capacity of Sub-Regional Focal Points (SRFPs) to respond to disasters. The first set of meetings focused on the sub-regional structure, functions and coordination arrangements and also identified and addressed response deficiencies of each state.
The SRFP, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago are CDEMA's frontline response to member states after a disaster event.