EU Gives 20 Million for Disaster Management in the Caribbean
Bridgetown, Barbados, October 31, 2014 (CDEMA) - Disaster Management in the Caribbean region is getting a boost with a 20 million euro grant from the European Union. The funding has been secured under the ACP-EU CARIFORUM Natural Disaster Risk Management Programme, which will be implemented over a five year period (2014-2019) by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Caribbean Development Bank and the Dominican Republic. It is expected to support the strengthening of National Disaster Offices and CDEMA in the implementation of the 2014-2024 Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy.
In addition to capacity building, early warning, national risk profiling and community-based risk reduction systems are expected to be bolstered locally and regionally. The EU intervention is also expected to strengthen critical infrastructure in the transportation and water sectors in CARIFORUM countries, to make them more resilient to natural hazards and the climate change and climate variability phenomena.
Head of the European Union Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Mikael Barfod said: "The flash flooding which occurred in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as well as St. Lucia last December should be a wake-up call for the Caribbean. It should send the signal that the region should be prepared, not only for the hurricane season, but for any disaster related eventuality."
This is not the first time the European Union is providing disaster related support to the Caribbean. In the past, the EU has supported initiatives such as disaster management capacity building and institutional support as well as installation of regional weather radar systems. Additionally, they have contributed significantly to the establishment of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, which provides compensation to countries following disasters.
The implementation of this current programme is being officially launched on Friday, October 31, at the Radisson Resort in Barbados and will feature a display by CDEMA, the Dominican Republic and the CDB highlighting achievements from previous EU funded projects. This will be followed immediately after by the first meeting of the Project Steering Committee for the programme, which comprises representatives from core institutions such as CARIFORUM, CDEMA, CDB and the Dominican Republic as well as observer institutions.
Beneficiary countries of the funding are Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname, Saint Lucia, St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.