Saint Lucia Officials Receive Critical Emergency Response Training

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Twenty-two emergency response, coordination, and Government officials from a wide cross section of agencies are more equipped to respond to natural hazards, including storms, flooding, and landslides, with focus on information management, thanks to training facilitated by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(OCHA), through the United Nations Office for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

With Caribbean countries, including Saint Lucia, being highly vulnerable to endemic hazards
that pose significant risks to lives and livelihoods, continuous support, especially in data
collection and analysis, is critical to ensure more coherent, rapid, and effective response.

Randy Warner, OCHA’s Information Management Assistant based at the UN Resident
Coordinator Office in Barbados, noted that the paucity of data has significantly challenged and in some instances hindered effective emergency response.

“I cannot emphasize too much the importance data plays in informing response action and improving the quality of humanitarian interventions,” he explained.

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To bridge these existing gaps, the workshop sought to identify opportunities for enhanced
coordination during emergency response; improve knowledge and technical skills in
information and data management and enhance capacity for reporting and assessments based on global and regional best practices.

The highly interactive session exposed participants to relevant online tools, including data and information management platforms, and equipped them to create visualizations to speed up analysis and improve evidence-based decision-making.

Mr. Lucius Lake, consultant with the National Emergency Management Organization
(NEMO), noted that despite his decades of experience and expansive training in emergency
response, he found the workshop to be useful, particularly with respect to information and tools for strengthening data and statistical systems.

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure,” he underlined.

The workshop, which took place at the NEMO Office, attracted a wide cross-section of
participants including media and communications personnel, and representatives from the
Ministry of Tourism, the National Statistical Office, the Saint Lucia Meteorological Office, the
Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, the Saint Lucia Fire Service, the Red Cross Society, as well as various district disaster committees.

Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Headline photo: Brenda Eriksen, Information Management Officer with OCHA’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, explains the international response mechanisms to
participants during the Training Workshop.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.


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