PHILIPSBURG – K1 Britannia Foundation’s Disaster Relief and Crisis Team – K1 DIRECT – in collaboration with the Government of Sint Maarten have rounded off a four-day End-2-End Supply Chain Management Training which they hosted and organized and was facilitated by World Food Programme (WFP) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). The training brought together valuable partners in disaster and supply chain management, where organizations presented their Business Continuity plans and disaster response capabilities, participated in supply chain, logistics and inventory management activities, and discussed collaboration and long-term agreements for disaster response within the region.
Approximately 40 persons attended the training from various sectors including local Emergency Support Functions (ESFs), Non-profit organizations, international and local private sector partner organizations, representatives of other islands and law enforcement; such as the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development & Labor, Government Affairs, Customs, Dutch Military, Red Cross, NV GEBE, Tropical Shipping, DHL, Maersk, Port Sint Maarten, and Princess Juliana International Airport.
Iris Hakkens, K1 DIRECT Program Manager stated, “Upon receiving the proposal of the program from WFP, we could already see the importance of streamlining the process of requesting to delivering disaster relief goods. The representatives of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and ESF 7, without whom this training would not have been possible, also recognized this and ensured that relevant stakeholders were invited to the table to share their plans and come to a consensus on End To End Supply chain management. This workshop highlighted each stakeholders roles and responsibilities in the process, and will serve as a blueprint for how procedures should be followed in emergencies.”
The training included presentations of the phases of the disaster cycle where participants grasped an understanding of preparedness levels and key tasks to be completed and repeated for up to 6 weeks after a disaster. In addition, presentations were given by Maersk, WFP, CDEMA, DHL, Rene Savelsbergh, as an expert on civil military collaboration, and others who shared their support/relief services, plans and logistic capabilities.
The training consisted of many group activities, most of which revolved around disaster management from 5 days before an impending category 4 hurricane up to response 72 hours after impact for a fictional island, similar to St. Maarten.
Pauline Kauffmann, Advisor Disaster Management, Saba, applauded the training mentioning, “I loved the training because [it] brought together more stakeholders than usual, as well as private sector organizations, that are really working together. We were able to gain some insight of their operations. We all experienced Irma in some shape or form, so it was important we were all able to have this training, elaborating on the different elements and the actors who play a role in a disaster as well.”
Joy Arnell, Coordinator of ESF7 and Priya Thirumur of K1 also gave a presentation on the key undertakings that must be in place for the preparation, immediate aftermath and long-term response of a disaster. Arnell & Thirumur hosted the presentation to be interactive, so that stakeholders, such as NV GEBE and others, were able to share their capacities and contingency plans, as this information will be crucial in knowing what and when to request outside assistance- one of the first steps in the end2end supply chain. The participants in the training learnt that formulating commitments, such as long-term agreements & Memorandum of Understandings will ultimately save a lot of time and improve efficiency after disasters.
Clive Richardson, EOC Disaster Coordinator expressed his enthusiasm for his participation and co-organization in the training stating, “It is recognized that the End-to-End World Food Programme training is something that our community definitely needs. It highlights that we should reconstruct the process in Sint Maarten and ensure that the delivery and distribution of relief goods happens in an effective and efficient manner. We really applaud all persons who participated and look forward to structuring and implementing this into practice as soon as possible.”
World Food Programme and CDEMA were great partners for this training. Frank Cawkwell, Head of Supply Chain, World Food Programme (Barbados) expressed his gratitude and overall impression of the participants at the training saying “Thank you to the Government of St Maarten, the Emergency Response Teams and K1 for their indulgence during the E2E Supply Chain Training. However, most of all, for the inclusion and warm welcome into their Humanitarian resilience and response family. The mutual respect and desire for enhanced capabilities in advance of and during emergencies was evident in abundance.“ This training served as a platform for discussion and a starting point for collaboration between the private sector, NGO’s and Government alike.
Priya Thirumur Co-founder of K1 Britannia Foundation reflected, “Preparedness is a team sport, and it was nice to see all the different departments of government, private sector and non-profit organizations come together to brainstorm, share knowledge and ideas, share challenges to be able to create a starting point for setting procedures and how to conduct the end2end supply chain on St. Maarten. It was a great step to collaboration and we look forward to continuing to grow and focus on preparedness as a country.”
K1 DIRECT along with its founding sponsors, Carnival Cruise Line and the Dutch Disaster Fund, would like to thank World Food Programme and Government of Sint Maarten who helped to make this training course possible.