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Caribbean better prepared to deal with crisis situations


Posted in: Press Releases | 02 February 2017 | 364

    Mr. Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of CDEMA, second from left makes a point during a meeting. Next to him is Executive Director of CARPHA, Dr. James Hospedales
    Mr. Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of CDEMA, second from left makes a point during a meeting. Next to him is Executive Director of CARPHA, Dr. James Hospedales

    The Caribbean region’s ability to respond to crisis situations and its early warning capacity have been greatly strengthened, thanks to the Global Crisis Response Support Programme (GCRSP).

    The two-year programme received 2.6 million euros from the European Union to improve crisis management infrastructures in the Region, and included training courses, workshops, and a scenario/simulation exercise.  Participating agencies gave the Programme a thumbs-up as they believe the benefits derived would have a lasting effect in the Region.  Participants also expressed that they are now better prepared to respond to crises and potential conflict situations.

    In addition, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS), encouraging information sharing and cooperation mechanisms.  The MoU also facilitates monitoring and controlling the spread of diseases among Caribbean Islands, by tracking the movement of persons.

    The Programme ended with a Regional Coordinating Workshop and Closing Ceremony, at the Hilton Hotel Trinidad and Conference Centre, Port of Spain on Thursday January 26th, 2017.  Executive Directors of the four agencies and the Head of the European Union Delegation to Trinidad and Tobago, agreed that the knowledge transferred has given the agencies the impetus needed to continue working together to achieve enhanced regional coordination.

    The GCRSP started in 2015 and ran for two years involving CARICOM IMPACS, CARPHA, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the Regional Security System (RSS).   While it’s primary focus was to strengthen crisis response and early warning capacity, it also allowed the agencies to work as a collaborative and integrative team in areas of key interest such as security, health and natural hazards.

    One participant summed up his hope for the Programme in these words “if all participants take back what was learned and are given the opportunity to implement such, this will be the start of a progressive change in how organisations see their roles and the services they provide to the Region”. (CARPHA Press Release)

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