Promoting community resilience in the Caribbean

PRESS RELEASE:-In an effort to promote community resilience and strengthen disaster response at national and regional levels, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) will host a Humanitarian Regional Response meeting from July 6th – 8th at the Radisson Aquatic Resort in Bridgetown, Barbados.

This meeting is also part of the Caribbean Communities Organized and Prepared for Emergencies (CCOPE) programme, funded by the European Commission through its DIPECHO Action Plan 2015-2016.

This programme aims at strengthening the achievements of previous programmes in the region.

It was jointly designed with Red Cross National Societies in the Region, in close consultation with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), and in close coordination with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Subregional Office for Barbados, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and The United Nations Office for Disasters Risk Reduction (UISDR).

The main objectives of this meeting are to review the direction of disaster response for the Red Cross within the context of the Regional Response Mechanism; to review and agree on next steps in the development of the Red Cross Caribbean Community Resilience Framework and to share tools and experiences in disaster preparedness for response.

The expected outcomes include the design of the regional community resilience framework for the Caribbean as well as the piloting of national action plans for community resilience in Caribbean countries, in conjunction with the development of a joint communication and advocacy strategy with CDEMA to better position community resilience and improve disaster response within the Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy.

The Caribbean region is exposed to a variety of potentially destructive events, whether natural or socio-natural such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, tropical storms, hurricanes, landslides, volcanic eruptions and drought; of biological nature such as dengue, chikungunya, Zika and cholera epidemics; as well as those of anthropic origin.

As a result, the IFRC, through its Crises and Disaster Management Unit, (including the Disaster Response Unit (PADRU), develops its activities covering the region of the Americas by reflecting the conceptual framework that defines disaster management as understood from a humanitarian continuum perspective, as well as from its contribution to generating resilience and its nexus to risk reduction and sustainable development.

One of its chief annual activities includes a pre-hurricane season meeting where Red Cross National Societies and partners gather to discuss and plan for the upcoming season.

The event includes the Caribbean President meeting, where presidents and representatives from Red Cross National Societies will discuss about the regional challenges and the ways to effectively promote resilience and advocacy regarding the key issues affecting the region.