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What is CDEMA PDF Print E-mail


The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) is a regional inter-governmental agency for disaster management in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

The Agency was established in 1991 as CDERA (Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency) with primary responsibility for the coordination of emergency response and relief efforts to Participating States that require such assistance. It transitioned to CDEMA in 2009 to fully embrace the principles and practice of Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM).

(CDM) is an integrated and proactive approach to disaster management and seeks to reduce the risk and loss associated with natural and technological hazards and the effects of climate change to enhance regional sustainable development.


All CARICOM and Non-CARICOM Member States of the Caribbean region are eligible for CDEMA membership.

CDEMA presently comprises eighteen (18) Participating States (PS): Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Republic of Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands and the Virgin Islands.


Since 2009, CDEMA’s mandate has expanded to position the regional disaster management body more strategically to fully take up its role as facilitator, driver, coordinator and motivating force for the promotion and engineering of Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) in all Participating States.

CDEMA’s functions are as follows:

  1. mobilising and coordinating disaster relief;
  2. mitigating or eliminating, as far as practicable, the immediate consequences of
    disasters in Participating States;
  3. providing immediate and coordinated response by means of emergency disaster
    relief to any affected Participating State;
  4. securing, coordinating and providing to interested inter-governmental and non- governmental organisations reliable and comprehensive information on disasters affecting any Participating State;
  5. encouraging –
    (i) the adoption of disaster loss reduction and mitigation policies and practices at the national and regional level;
    (ii) cooperative arrangements and mechanisms to facilitate the development of a culture of disaster loss reduction; and
  6. coordinating the establishment, enhancement and maintenance of adequate emergency disaster response capabilities among the Participating States.


CDEMA governance mechanism supports the principles of Comprehensive Disaster Management within the context of broad stakeholder participation, whilst ensuring that the roles and responsibilities of the various organs are clearly defined for enhanced accountability and transparency in the areas of decision making.

CDEMA is governed through the Council, a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and the Coordinating Unit.

    The Council comprises the Heads of Government of the Participating States or their nominees and determine the policies of CDEMA.
    The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is the technical and programmatic advisory arm of the CDEMA. This organ of CDEMA recognizes the integrated approach to disaster management and the pivotal role of stakeholder contribution to the programming process of the CDM Agenda.

    The TAC comprise of the National Disaster Coordinators and representatives of specialized regional organizations, such as those engaged in technological, meteorological and seismological fields whose programmes are directly related to the regional disaster management agenda.
    There are four (4) Sub-Committees of TAC :
    - Information Communications Systems Advisory Sub-Committee (ICSAC);
    - Plan Development and Review Sub-Committee;
    - Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction and Environment Sub-Committee;
    - Work Programme Development and Review Sub-Committee
    The Coordinating Unit is managed by an Executive Director who is appointed by the Council.

    The Coordinating Unit functions within a framework that fully embraces CDM and deals with longer-term mitigation issues. As such, the responsibilities and operating functions of the CDEMA Coordinating Unit is centered primarily around four (4) programming areas, namely:
    1. education, research and information;
    2. finance and administration;
    3. preparedness and response; and
    4. mitigation and research

    The Council also has the power to add other programming areas.


The CDEMA Coordinating Unit is headquartered in Barbados.

For more information on CDEMA, please contact:
Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency
Resilience Way,Lower Estate
St. Michael, Barbados
Tel. no. (246) 434-4880; Fax no. (246) 271-3660
E-mail: [email protected]
Websites: www.cdema.org ; www.weready.org



CDEMA Annual Reports