Antigua and Barbuda + 6 more

EU offers € 2 million to boost disaster preparedness in the Caribbean

The announcement was made during the Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management to strengthen disaster risk reduction and early warning systems through knowledge exchange

December 9, Nassau, Bahamas. Following the unprecedented destruction caused by some of the most powerful hurricanes to ever cross the Atlantic, the European Union offered 2 million euros (US$2.35 million) to support two Caribbean disaster risk reduction initiatives.

The announcement came during the 10th Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management CDM: The Road to Resilience - Checkpoint 2017 “Building Resilience through Partnerships” here today, supporting of the DIPECHO (Disaster Preparedness Programme) Action Plan for the Caribbean, launched, under the auspices of the General Directorate of Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid of the European Union (ECHO). The financial support will be used in two regional initiatives. The first one, "Strengthen integrated early warning systems for a more effective disaster risk reduction in the Caribbean through knowledge and the transfer of tools", is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent (IFRC) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). The second, "Ponte Alerta Caribe: Harmonizing Risk Management Strategies and Tools with an Inclusive Approach in the Caribbean" is implemented by the Oxfam consortium, Plan International, Habitat for Humanity and International Handicap.

These projects, which take place in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Cuba, seek to strengthen disaster preparedness and risk reduction through gathering and applying tested tools to generate risk information, improve monitoring and warnings, and ensure that messages reach communities, whose response capacities will also be strengthened through training sessions. The projects will be implemented over an 18-month period to strengthen the prevention, mitigation and response capacities at both the institutional and community level, and will emphasize mutual learning and collaboration between countries and regional institutions working in disaster risk reduction across the Caribbean.

The projects were launched at the 10th Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management, held from December 4 to 9 in Nassau, Bahamas and organized by CDEMA. It was attended by over 200 representatives of the national systems of prevention, mitigation and response of the Caribbean countries, National Red Cross Societies, representatives of the national and regional systems of meteorology and hydrology, as well as representatives of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean and the UNDP offices in Barbados, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, in addition to the IFRC, CDEMA, Oxfam, Handicap International, and ECHO.

All stakeholders, within the framework of the conference, reaffirmed their commitment to work in alignment with the Caribbean Comprehensive Disaster Management 2014-2024 strategy, recognizing the need for collaboration and exchange of good practices between the institutions of the Caribbean countries, especially given the recent hydro-meteorological events of the last hurricane season.