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Apr 18, 2013

Regional facilitators gather for disaster management conference

Ronald Jackson

The Technical Advisory Committee of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency today concluded a two-day session. The Committee includes representation of National Disaster Coordinators from the eighteen member states, as well as other participating regional bodies. The goal of the session was to come up with a cohesive, effective and forward thinking regional strategic plan for 2013-2018. Executive Director of CDEMA, Ronald Jackson, provided details on the goals of the session, even as the ever-pragmatic Nemo Minister Godwin Hulse outlined the major challenge facing disaster management organizations both regionally and locally.


Ronald Jackson, Executive Director, CDEMA

“The strategic direction doesn’t only focus on the level of readiness for the hurricane season, but the documents that were observed, endorsed, reviewed and commented on really focused on a number of areas including the capacity strengthening for countries; noting that countries are the ones that are impacted—they are the first line of response. And so one of the things that we are doing at CDEMA is mobilizing resources towards improving the capacity of our offices, our NEMOS, our national disaster organizations as they are called in different countries, to be able to deal with that first line of response. It looked at also building capacity for response. So going back to your question about the hurricane season, strategically we are looking at how we are going to be supporting at country level, but also at regional level, to mobilize the kind of support external of countries who are impacted if they call on CDEMA so to do.”


Godwin Hulse

Godwin Hulse, Minister of NEMO

“One of the biggest challenge of course is always one that we are always familiar with and I am putting it on the table; it is funding. So how do you keep paying for the agency to maintain its high technical staff, etc. people sitting in the C.E.O., they are professional people who command good facilities. Therefore you can’t have people there that you are struggling to pay; you won’t get the best work done. And so the problem that we have across the region is always funding. All of our countries are struggling under budgetary constraints and so it is how we continue to maintain these organizations that we need. Other challenges we face of course are at the local levels; how we keep funding our local institutions to ensure that the personnel there have the capacity to do the work that we require.”

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