Countries in the Caribbean are looking for viable solutions to increase their ability to respond more quickly and resiliently to the COVID-19 crisis while simultaneously preparing for potential disasters in what is expected to be a highly-active hurricane season.
As they grapple with these challenges, the Canada-Caribbean Resilience Facility is supporting their efforts at response and recovery and stands ready to provide further support.
This year, Caribbean countries face the unprecedented situation of having to prepare for the hurricane season while still responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The activity of the upcoming hurricane season is expected to be above average, with a pre-season outlook of up to 19 named storms, of which as many as 10 could become hurricanes.
COVID-19 places many new stresses on disaster risk management in the region, including:
Extremely limited time for integrating COVID-19 related recommendations in countries’ hurricane response and relief protocols.
Potential disruptions to the movement of critical personnel, equipment, and supplies for hurricane response as they run counter to mobility restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the virus.
Reduced availability of national and regional disaster response personnel as many have been deployed to assist with the COVID-19 response, fallen ill with the virus, or have a low tolerance for the risk it poses.
The need for special provisions to reduce the risk of viral infection during hurricane response and relief operations, such as adapting protocols for the evacuation and sheltering of displaced populations with social distancing.
THE CRF APPROACH
The CRF is supporting COVID-19 response in client countries by:
Supporting access to and activation of emergency funding such as Contingency Emergency Response Components (CERC).
Providing hands-on-support for the implementation of emergency projects and preparation for the hurricane season in a context of COVID-19.
Accelerating support to countries to develop interim finance instructions and guidance to MDAs on how to execute emergency budget, procurement, accounting, reporting and audit processes in response to COVID-19.