Rallying call for Caribbean WCDR participation

Thu, 27 May 2004, 13:15

Port of Spain, May 27 (CDERA) – Coordinator of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) Jeremy Collymore wants regional governments and non-governmental organisations to get actively involved in the World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR).

The WCDR is to be held in Kobe, Japan in January 2005, within two weeks of the SIDS+10 conference in Mauritius.

Mr Collymore has urged the Caribbean states to give the WCDR as much of its undivided attention as it is giving the SIDS+10 meeting. He said that both are equally important for the sustainable development of the Caribbean.

In fact, he argued that the damage to as well as loss and replacement of critical facilities are the “main set back” to development in the region and this is so because these events have not been adequately documented and costed.

Mr Collymore said that statistics from the World Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank support this thesis.

“If we look closely at the lending profile of multilateral financial institutions, we will notice that within the last two decades significant resources are being allocated to emergency recovery and reconstruction initiatives. The World Bank has indicated that since 1980 more than $35 billion in loan commitments have been made to projects, which include some disaster component,” he told the opening of the Caribbean Meeting on Mitigation in Health Facilities which started today at the Secretariat of the Association of Caribbean States in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

“Similarly the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has reported that between 1974 and 2002, it provided more than $127 million loans and grants directed at relief and infrastructure replacement investment, He added.

Mr Collymore said that CDERA has been leading the way through two regional meetings held in 2003 – the results of which will contribute to recommendations that will go to the WCDR – and the Agency was presently planning a Caribbean PrepCom for August 2004.

Jeremy Collymore, Coordinator or
Terry Ally, Public Information Specialist
Tel: (246) 425-0386
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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