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China Boosts Caribbean Disaster Response

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The capacity of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to respond to disaster relief, prevention, and reduction has received a boost from the government of China, following discussions with the CARICOM Secretary-General, Dr. Carla Barnett.

CDEMA is the recipient of a US$100,000 grant from China as part of a wider US$1M support package for CARICOM Member States, as the country seeks to strengthen development cooperation with the Community.

Expressing appreciation for China’s support, CDEMA’s Deputy Executive Director, Lt. Col. Kester Craig said the donation “will undoubtedly support the Agency’s ongoing efforts to enhance disaster response in the Caribbean region.”

These efforts include the operational readiness of Regional Search and Rescue Teams that CDEMA deploys to manage hazard impacts in its 19 Participating States.

In addition to the procurement of operational and safety equipment, the grant funding will also be used for capacity-building of the Search and Rescue teams through training, in keeping with the standards set by the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG).

INSARAG is a global network of more than 90 countries and organisations under the United Nations umbrella which deals with Urban Search and Rescue (USAR).

Lt. Col. Craig added that China’s support will also contribute to the advancement of Strategic Objective Two of CDEMA’s Strategic Plan 2022-2027 to build the Next Level Regional Response Mechanism.

He said it is anticipated that over the next few years, the Regional Response Mechanism will be strengthened to respond to severe disaster events in CDEMA’s Participating States.

SOURCE: Caribbean Community Secretariat

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