CDEMA hosts Exercise SYNERGY 2021

Bridgetown, Barbados July 29, 2021– The CDEMA Coordinating Unit hosted its third annual Exercise SYNERGY on July 28, 2021, to facilitate coordination of emergency response operations with partners of the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM). Over 70 regional and international stakeholders participated in the online “War-Gaming” discussions, to review operations in response to the fast onset hazards of tropical cyclones and earthquakes.

Participants of SYNERGY were re-oriented to the RRM and Regional Protocols for the Management of COVID-19. The War-Gaming discussions allowed each sub region in the RRM to exercise operational plans to address the multi-island impact of hurricanes and earthquakes to enhance the Regional Coordination Plan.

Executive Director of CDEMA Elizabeth Riley lauded the level of stakeholder participation, noting that it signaled the commitment to resilience in the Caribbean through operational readiness. Riley said, “The delivery of timely humanitarian assistance to CDEMA Participating States remains at the forefront of what we do. In the last 16 months as you know our region has battled a plethora of hazards, both natural as well as technological and biological.”

Exercise SYNERGY received financial support from Global Affairs Canada through the Targeted Support to CDEMA Project. Senior Development Officer at Global Affairs Canada, Natalie Hutchinson, explained the importance of SYNERGY saying, “The 2020s are truly demonstrating the depth and breadth of this multi-hazard environment which we’re living in. The limited resources available increases the need for effective and efficient collaboration across the region, something we hope that this exercise will help support.”

Through the CAD $100 million pledged to support the region after the 2017 hurricane season, the Targeted Support to CDEMA Project has played a key role in enhancing the RRM, namely the establishment of CDEMA’s Integrated Regional Logistics Hub. Plans are ongoing with the World Food Programme to make the hub a permanent resource for movement of humanitarian supplies, creating opportunities for logistics training to build regional capacity.

Over the past year, the RRM and the Regional Coordination Centre have been activated to respond to multi-island events specifically COVID-19, the La Soufrière volcanic activity, Guyana floods and Hurricane Elsa. The changing landscape of the region called for a review of the RRM, which was completed in 2020. This led to the articulation of a clearer vision for a more agile and flexible RRM to tackle multi-hazard and multi-island impact. Riley outlined expansion of the hazard scope, digital transformation, resource mobilization and wider partnerships as pillars in the RRM of the future.

Findings from SYNERGY will be used to revise the joint coordination of emergency operations for COVID-19 and strengthen protocols of the regional and national multi-hazard plans for operating within a pandemic.


Over 70 CDEMA stakeholders participated in Exercise Synergy on July 28, 2021



For further information, please contact:


Andrea Austin

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St. Michael


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