CDEMA & Norway Government signs agreement to extend support Disaster Management Project in the Caribbean

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The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), have agreed to an extension of the programme period for their project: “Support to the Advancement of the Comprehensive Disaster Management in the Caribbean Region”, by one year until December 2023. 

The extension was formalized on June 15th, this year, when representatives from CDEMA and MFA signed an addendum to their 2019 agreement, effectively extending Project deadlines by 12 months.  Executive Director, Ms. Elizabeth Riley signed on behalf of CDEMA, while Ambassador at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Havana, Ms. Beate Stirø, signed for the MFA. 

Following the signing, Ms. Riley said, “As the lead agency in CARICOM with responsibility for Disaster Management, we at CDEMA cannot overemphasize the importance of this project in helping to further strengthen the region’s disaster resilience given that the Caribbean is operating within a multi-hazard environment. Tangible results have already been delivered to the Safe Schools Programme in Saint Lucia and initiated in other states. It is against this backdrop that we are pleased with the decision of the Norway Ministry of Foreign Affairs to extend the project for a further year.”

MFA is providing grant funding for the Disaster Management project, which was originally scheduled to be implemented between December 2019 and November 2022.

The project’s major goal is to advance Caribbean disaster management implementation at the national and community levels in CDEMA participating states, for enhanced resilience building.

“Norway’s support to CDEMA confirms our increased engagement and commitment to collaborate with the region.  We consider CDEMA an important partner in our common efforts to make immediate and coordinated response and relief efforts to any disastrous event affecting member-states of CARICOM. Over the last two years we have strengthened our ties and broadened our understanding of the needs and opportunities of your region.  We know this large territory is vulnerable to natural disaster and hazards most often caused by climate change which we know will have a direct bearing on the education sector. We are therefore proud to support CDEMA in their effort to address some of these evident vulnerabilities. Being prepared and keeping the population safe when natural disasters approach are top priorities, said Ambassador Stiro.

Targets include: improving regional disaster management in several areas including advancing the “model safe school” programme; strengthening community-based disaster risk management; enhancing the Regional Training Centre to provide standardized, accredited and sustained training; supporting the CDEMA Safer Building training programme; and ensuring that training in safer building is undertaken in at least six CDEMA participating states. 

Vulnerable regional communities and the educational sector are intended to be major beneficiaries of the project which supports the roll out of school safety action plans, and a safe- school recognition programme across six countries,

while three participating states will benefit from the application of a framework and standards for safe and resilient communities.