Partnering to rebuild Haiti’s resilience

Bridgetown, Barbados Wednesday October 13, 2010 – (CDEMA) – CDEMA’s partnership and focus on resilience in rebuilding Haiti compliments this year’s International Day for Disaster Reduction’s (IDDR’s) theme of “Making Cities Resilient”.


While CDEMA’s Participating States, particularly those on the northern rim of the Caribbean Plate have experienced seismic impacts of varied intensity, the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti is by far the region’s most devastating.  The horrors witnessed and subsequent worldwide spotlight are directly related to Haiti’s status as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.


The event that unfolded in Haiti is of special significance to the Caribbean Community in light of the country’s status as one of the newest members of the CDEMA system. As the debris settled following this magnitude 7.0 earthquake the scale of the impact became evident: 220,000 deaths, 2.3 million persons displaced, and an estimated US$14 billion in damages. Although the international response was initially hampered by infrastructural and operational challenges, it was generally quick and effective. CDEMA’s, involvement and partnership in the rebuilding process has focused on capacity building at both the national and community levels through the assistance of the Australian Government and other international partners. This is reflected in ongoing interventions in Haiti which include the following:


  1. The creation of a Haiti Technical Assistance Desk at the CDEMA-CU.
  2. The development of National Disaster Plans for multiple hazards.
  3. The strengthening of emergency communications capacity through the provision of telecommunication equipment and training in emergency communications for disaster management personnel.
  4. Enhancing the capacity of the National Disaster Office for integrated relief programme management through the provision of training workshop in Humanitarian Supply Management System (SUMA) and logistics and warehouse management.
  5. Building resilience through community partnerships for the development of community disaster plans, developing toolkits for training in disaster management, developing adaptable model evacuation policies and plans for the CDEMA-Participating States.
  6. Provision of emergency equipment including VHF and HF radios for the 10 districts in Haiti.
  7. Delivery of training in the Regional Codes of Practice for the Construction of houses in Post-Secondary Schools (Safer Buildings).
  8. Translation of the Regional Codes of Practice into French and French Creole.
  9. Comprehensive Disaster Management review and development and development of a programme of action.
  10. Development of hazard specific public awareness materials.

Evidently, Haiti’s reconstruction will be ongoing for many years to come. It is, however, the commitment of CDEMA to stand in partnership with the Haitian people and other agencies to support the formation of an even more resilient state, where the catastrophic loss of life and property on the scale experienced earlier this year is significantly reduced.

Please click here for photo gallery.

For more information please contact:
Dr. Virginia Clerveaux,
Senior Programme Officer (SPO),
Haiti Technical Assistance Project (HTAP),
Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA),
Building #1, Manor Lodge Complex,
Lodge Hill, St. Michael, Barbados, W.I.
Tel:(246) 425-0386.
Fax: (246) 425-8854
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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