The annual CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU) Training Workshop officially commenced in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Monday June 10th hosted by CDEMA and the Regional Security System Headquarters (RSS HQ). Twenty-eight persons from military, fire and police operations in CDEMA’s Participating States will be trained for disaster response until June 18th.
In a press conference held on May 31st, Executive Director of CDEMA, Ronald Jackson said, “We’ve been really trying to build some capacity over the past year and we’re confident that we’re improving in those areas. At the regional capacity building level, we would have done training of teams such as the Caribbean Disaster Relief Unit…we have a target we’re trying to get to 250 persons trained and ready.” CDEMA in collaboration with regional partners conducted two CDRU trainings in May and July of 2018. Thirty-three (33) officers were trained in Antigua and 27 officers were trained in Barbados respectively.
This year’s programme will feature key sessions regarding Comprehensive Disaster Management, Emergency Relief and Warehousing Management, the Relief Supply Tracking System and Emergency Communications.
Participants will also engage in the US SOUTHCOM EXERCISE TRADEWINDS 2019, Phase 2: Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Reduction (HADR) facilitated by the United States Southern Command starting on Friday 15th June.
The training falls into the Regional Coordination Plan where participants will be oriented to execute the three main functions needed in a disaster environment. These are to:
· Providing relief management support to national and regional authorities
· Provide emergency telecommunications support the authorities of an impacted CDEMA Participating State
· Provide appropriate personnel for the restoration of critical lifeline facilities post impact