OECS Agriculture Task Force assists Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in disaster recovery effort
OECS Secretariat, Castries, St. Lucia, January 31st 2014–In response to the damage sustained by the agricultural and rural sectors as a result of the December 24th 2013 weather system that affected the Windward Islands, an OECS agriculture task force has embarked on a support mission to Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The task force, established at a November 2013 meeting of OECS Ministers for Agriculture held to address issues of governance for agriculture development and food and nutrition security in the OECS, took the decision to mount the Windward Islands support mission at its third meeting held on January 7, 2014. The OECS Secretariat chairs the task force which comprises the FAO, IICA, CARDI and two Member States namely, Dominica and St. Lucia.
The agriculture support mission, led by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), includes professionals from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development institute (CARDI) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Secretariat. The mission was conducted in St. Lucia and aint Vincent and the Grenadines on January 9-10 and January 13- 14, 2014 respectively.
The main tasks of the mission were:
- The preparation of emergency response and livelihood rehabilitation projects for immediate funding consideration;
- The preparation of development project ideas for building resilience within the agricultural and rural sectors for funding consideration in the short run; and
- To assist with implementation of the funded projects
The OECS agriculture task force is working with national agriculture sector officials in reviewing the preliminary damage assessments undertaken by the respective Ministries of Agriculture, and will generate additional information required for emergency and development project preparation as well as for development of the respective project documents for funding consideration.
The FAO has indicated that considerations are being made to begin the implementation of several recovery measures by mid February 2014.