02 Aug 2019
Training boost for Caribbean SIDS
2 August 2019 – As the Atlantic Hurricane Season got underway, the exposed countries and territories of the Caribbean were participants in the latest round of specialised training on disaster risk reduction hosted by the government of Singapore.
Participants’ memories were still fresh from the last three record-breaking hurricane seasons which claimed many lives across the region and caused significant economic losses, notably so in the small island of Dominica.
“The course has been very significant in deepening my understanding of the risks and translating that into planning, especially following Dominica’s experiences with Hurricane Maria and Tropical Storm Erica,” said Lisa Knitasha Valmond, Senior Programme Officer at the Ministry of Finance, Dominica said.
Singapore, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s (UNDRR) Global Education and Training Institute (GETI) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) collaborated to strengthen the disaster resilience of Caribbean countries that are among those most affected by climate change and natural hazards in advance of next year’s Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean.
A training of trainers course held in Singapore from 18-21 June 2019 under the theme ”Understanding Risk Management and Risk Financing for Disaster Resilience” was attended by 32 participants from 12 countries and four overseas territories of the Caribbean, namely Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Trainers from Singapore, including from training co-coordinator Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and UNDRR shared their expertise on disaster risk management and mitigation, disaster risk governance, preparing for business continuity, vulnerability analysis, risk financing and engaging the private sector for disaster resilience, to enhance cooperation and increase disaster risk-informed development planning, preparedness and recovery.
The course was attended by senior officials from Ministries of Finance and Planning and the focal institutions for disaster risk reduction. In addition, two representatives from the Network of Caribbean Chambers of Commerce (CARICHAM) participated, sharing experience on how public-private partnership can enhance resilience.
Morales Rozier, Senior Technical Advisor at the Ministry of Economy and Finances, Haiti, found the course valuable in helping him to be better prepared to deal with major natural hazards in future.
“Haiti faces hurricanes, earthquakes, floods. The Workshop helped me understand how exactly to develop a mechanism and strategy, and to understand that we are not alone in facing these kinds of catastrophes. What is most important for us and what I discovered through this course is to develop strategies to face the situation before it happens, and I will share this with my colleagues when I go back,” Mr. Rozier said.
“Singapore and UNDRR have been collaborating on such capacity-building initiatives since 2015 to support developing countries in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and to improve national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction”, said Carlos Uribe, Risk Knowledge officer with UNDRR’s Regional Office for the Americas and Caribbean.
The course was conducted under the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP), which is the primary platform through which Singapore extends technical assistance to over 100 countries. For more information on the SCP and available courses visit: https://tinyurl.com/mfascpcalendar2019.
[Participants receiving a briefing by AON Singapore on underwriting risk]
[Participants having a group discussion on public-private partnerships]
[Participants on a site visit to the Marina Barrage, Singapore]