Sunday, July 6, 2014

Bahamas: July 3, 2014. NEMA participated in CDEMA Council Meeting

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NEMA participated in CDEMA Council Meeting
Authored by:National Emergency Management Agency
Source:National Emergency Management Agency
Date:July 3, 2014

Delegates to the Fifth Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency Council Meeting, held June 27, 2014 in Bridgetown, Barbados. Standing Left to right: Ambassador Elizabeth Harper, Guyana; Mr. Carl Herbert, National Disaster Coordinator, St. Kitts & Nevis; Permanent Secretary Carl A. Francis, Ministry of National Security; Trinidad and Tobago, Hon. George Lightbourne, Turks and Caicos; Colonel Shelton Defour, National Disaster Coordinator, Belize; Mr. Howe Prince, National Disaster Coordinator, St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Captain Stephen Russell, Director, National Emergency Management Agency, Bahamas; Permanent Secretary Nicholas Bruno, Ministry of National Security, Dominica; Hon. Noel Arscott, Jamaica; Permanent Secretary Lana  McPhail , Grenada. Seated left to right: Mr. Ronald Jackson, Executive Director CDEMA; the Hon. Adriel Braithwaite, Attorney General, Barbados, Chair of Council meeting; and the Hon Deputy Governor Stanley Reid, Anguilla, Deputy Chair Council meeting. (PHOTO/CDEMA)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados –  Captain Stephen Russell, Director of the National Emergency Management Agency attended the Fifth Meeting of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency Council of Ministers meeting, which focused on enhancing the coordinating responses to disasters affecting the region.

The meeting was held Friday, June 27, 2014 at the Hilton Hotel in Barbados. The meeting was attended by Ministers and Permanent Secretaries with responsibility for disaster management within the CDEMA Participating States.

The Council is the highest level decision making body in the CDEMA governance structure.  Discussed were several key matters requiring their approval and endorsement for implementation by the CDEMA Coordinating Unit and Participating States.

Considering the prevailing economic situation across the region, financing the operations of the CDEMA Coordinating Unit (CU) was among the main items on the Agenda.

The Council reviewed the agency’s financial status and looked in particular, at options for sustainable finances including the results of a feasibility study on the establishment of an endowment fund and the recommendations from a market research on fee based services that the Coordinating Unit could offer. Also discussed was the organisational restructuring of the CDEMA CU.

Policies presented for endorsement were the regional Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Strategy 2014-2024, Implementation Plan and Performance Management Framework, Regional Response Doctrine Proposal for Strengthening Response Coordination Capacity of CDEMA and the Model Organisation Structure for National Disaster Offices.

These policies, developed through a lengthy and rigorous participatory process involving a wide range of stakeholders are critical to furthering national and regional processes for building disaster resilience.

One of the standing agenda items was “Operational Matters and Readiness”. This focused on the agency’s primary responsibility, which is, coordinating regional response to disasters affecting its Participating States.

The meeting discussed the status of readiness for the 2014 Hurricane Season and the 2013-2014 emergency events including the December 2013 rains which affected St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica and Saint Lucia.

Preceding the Meeting, was a symposium on Thursday, June 26 on the Integration of Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction.

CDEMA is governed through the Council, a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and the Coordinating Unit. As a specialised regional Agency of CARICOM, the Heads of Government of the Participating States determine the policies. The Council is the highest level of governance of CDEMA and major decisions on its operations are also made as required by this body.

There is a sub-committee, the Management Committee of Council, which makes recommendations to the Council to enhance the management and functioning of the CDEMA policy identification and organisation performance review.

The Council meets annually during the month of June. The Heads of Government or their designated representatives attend the annual Meetings.

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