KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica says without a doubt, disaster recovery can be a long and difficult road, particularly for developing countries like those in the Caribbean, as the region prepares to host the VII Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean (RP21).
In addition, Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Desmond McKenzie, in a message marking International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDRR) on Wednesday, said “Jamaica remains grateful for the continued cooperation of our international partners, who have bolstered our disaster risk reduction planning and implementation and our recovery efforts”.
This year, the IDDRR is being held under the theme ‘International Cooperation for Developing Countries to Reduce their Disaster Risk and Disaster Losses,” and ’McKenzie reaffirmed Jamaica’s commitment to its role as one of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency’s (CDEMA) subregional focal points.
“When you think about the provision of manpower, training, donation of equipment and of a monetary kind, we are looking at our partners in the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, the European Union, the United States Embassy in Kingston, the Canadian High Commission and the Government of Japan, just to name a few.
“And being in the position we are, Jamaica offers similar assistance to our Caribbean brothers and sisters and we will continue to do so to reduce our combined disaster risk and losses,” he said.
“It is without a doubt that disaster recovery can be a long and difficult road, particularly for developing countries like those in the Caribbean. International and regional cooperation plays a critical role in that recovery, which is why this year’s focus for IDDRR is apt, especially with Jamaica hosting the seventh Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean from November 1 to 4. Our losses and recovery from disasters, as a region, will be examined and discussed there,” McKenzie added.
The Barbados-based CDEMA said that the regional platform which is being hosted by a Caribbean country for the first time, will commence with its preparatory event, the inaugural Youth Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean, on October 26.
It said that the RP21 to be held under the theme “Building Resilient Economies” will set the priorities in public policies for disaster risk reduction for the future.
“This is pertinent timing, as the region is facing more and more extreme meteorological events intensified by climate change while still recovering from the effects of systemic risks arising from the COVID-19 pandemic,” CDEMA said.
It said that the virtual event will bring together more than 1000 people including country delegates, government and ministerial representatives, international organizations members, academics, civil society, NGOs, private and public sector.