CHTA Survey: Caribbean tourism industry leading region’s recovery, but faces challenges

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service
CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig addressed the media at Tuesday’s press conference.

The Caribbean tourism industry continues to lead the region’s economic recovery but faces formidable challenges, according to the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).

Releasing the results of its annual tourism industry performance and outlook survey on Wednesday, CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig reported that the pace of the tourism industry recovery may be threatened by rising operating costs, labor shortages, increasing airfares, global competition, economic uncertainty, and pressures from some governments to increase taxes.

“Despite these challenges, the industry remains bullish about the future of tourism in the Caribbean,” she said, while underscoring the importance of public-private sector collaboration to address challenges like stimulating greater intra-regional travel.

“While we’ve turned the pandemic corner, we’re not out of the woods yet. Many businesses are still climbing out of massive debts and facing global competitive pressures on price increases. Now is not the time to increase taxes as we are hearing from several countries,” added the CHTA leader, who stressed that “addressing our looming labor shortages, climate change and strengthening linkages between tourism and other areas of our economies are critically important.”

The February 2023 survey included just under 100 businesses, with 77 percent representing the accommodations sector and the remaining 23 percent from other tourism-related sectors such as attractions, tour operators and restaurants.

The respondents identified the top issues affecting their businesses, including airlift cost and availability, taxes and duties, labor shortages, crime and safety, and poor infrastructure, among others. The industry is also facing challenges from environmental degradation, such as climate change, sargassum, and waste management, which were among the most frequently cited issues.

The survey revealed that companies are forgoing higher profits and plowing returns into covering debt incurred during the pandemic and investing in product improvements as capital expenditures soar. Pressures are growing to limit rate increases as global competition intensifies and labor and operating costs rise.

The non-accommodation tourism sector performance mostly parallels the accommodations sector. However, it expects to hire at a higher rate than the accommodations sector in 2023.

“Another key concern of tourism stakeholders is insufficient destination marketing,” said Madden-Greig, noting that concerns still remain about the lack of a more strategic regional marketing approach, something which she said CHTA would take under advisement with its public sector ally, the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

Overall, the survey highlights the challenges and opportunities facing the Caribbean tourism industry, and CHTA remains committed to supporting its members and working with governments and other stakeholders to address the issues facing the industry.

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CCRIF and Central America’s Regional Disaster Risk Management Agency, CEPREDENAC, Sign Memorandum of Understanding

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

On Thursday March 16, CCRIF SPC and CEPREDENAC (the Coordination Center for the Prevention of Disasters in Central America and the Dominican Republic) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the margins of the CCRIF Regional Technical Workshop for Central America on Disaster Risk Financing and CCRIF Parametric Insurance held in Panama City, Panama, on March 15 and 16.

CEPREDENAC is the specialized institution of the Central American Integration System (SICA) for natural disaster prevention, mitigation, and response. The Governments of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and the Dominican Republic are active members, while Belize is in the process of becoming a member.

CEPREDENAC’s inter-sectoral agenda is harmonized with other specialized regional entities in areas such as hydrological resources, agriculture, nutrition, and food security.

CEPREDENAC is akin to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) in the Caribbean, with which CCRIF has had an MOU since 2009 (when it was known as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency – CDERA).

CCRIF CEO Isaac Anthony views this MOU as an important step towards collaboration between the Caribbean and Central America, and says, “We are pleased to formalize this partnership between CCRIF and CEPREDENAC, which will facilitate South-South cooperation and be a bridge for the Caribbean and Central America. It will encourage us to share knowledge, lessons learned, and good practices and more importantly, will be a key conduit to enable the two regions to work together on solutions to common challenges that they face as they seek to financially protect their economies, peoples, and communities from the impacts of natural hazards”. The focus of the MOU between CCRIF and CEPREDENAC is to:

o Enhance institutional strengthening through data sharing and knowledge exchange.

o Facilitate the exchange of experiences, lessons learned and best practices in disaster risk management, risk transfer and insurance within the context of advancing sustainable development in Central America and the Dominican Republic to share with members and introduce robust solutions for disaster risk financing and insurance such as those CCRIF provides to protect and increase financial resilience.

o Enhance and strengthen the understanding of each organization’s mandate amongst each entity’s core stakeholders.

o Provide information on the work of each organization through various communication media.

o Raise awareness of CCRIF in Central America and the Dominican Republic through information sharing related to research, exchange programmes, and horizontal cooperation programmes.

o Advance partnership building through South-South cooperation by facilitating the exchange of technology and knowledge among the countries of Central America and the Caribbean.

o Promote activities and programmes that align with the tenets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

At the signing of the MOU, Claudia Herrera, Executive Secretary of CEPREDENAC, said, “For us at CEPREDENAC, this is a historic moment that we wish to underscore. This MOU is especially important for us as it will help us to promote investments that will take risk into account. One of our expectations and interests in establishing this MOU is to sensitize and make more visible the role of disaster risk management in achieving our development goals”.

CCRIF has MOUs with 14 organizations in the Caribbean, including CDEMA, The UWI, Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Commission, Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism, and Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology, among others. In 2015, CCRIF signed an MOU with the Council of Finance Ministers of Central America, Panama and Dominican Republic (COSEFIN), which enabled Central American countries to join CCRIF and access its parametric insurance products for tropical cyclones, earthquakes and excess rainfall. Currently, three Central American countries are members of CCRIF – Nicaragua, Panama and Guatemala.

Since its inception in 2007, CCRIF has made 58 payouts totalling US$260 million to 16 of its 22 member governments. Central America governments have received eight of these payouts totaling US$47.5 million (18.3% of total payouts). The largest payout made by CCRIF to Central America was US$19.9 million to Nicaragua following Tropical Cyclone Iota in 2020. Nicaragua has received a total of 6 payouts from CCRIF since it joined the Facility in 2015.

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Trinidad wins $100 million verdict in key corruption lawsuit

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The government of Trinidad and Tobago has won a multimillion-dollar verdict in a sprawling corruption lawsuit that began nearly 20 years ago and involves former high-ranking officials.

A jury in Miami awarded the government more than $100 million in compensatory damages in a verdict late Wednesday. The civil case began in 2004 when the Trinidadian government sued a former finance minister, various businessmen and several companies in countriesincluding Florida, Panama and Portugal.

“We got everything that we asked for,” Faris Al-Rawi, a former attorney general in Trinidad who represented the government in the case, told The Associated Press.

The lawsuit alleged that the defendants participated in a scheme beginning in August 1996 to illegally obtain consulting and construction contracts at hyper-inflated prices via bribes, bid rigging and money laundering linked to an expansion of the Piarco International Airport in the Trinidadian capital of Port-of-Spain.

The complaint initially targeted 56 defendants, among them 11 individuals and 12 corporate entities, but some secured deals over the years, so only three remained when the trial began earlier this month: former finance minister Brian Kuei Tung and two businessmen.

An attorney for Tung could not immediately be reached for comment.

The verdict came 19 years after the civil case was filed in the Florida 11th Circuit Court and represents a victory for the government’s anti-corruption efforts. It went to trial on March 6.

Related criminal cases in Trinidad, in which top former officials were charged, have stalled or withered as key witnesses died and prosecutors dropped charges.

Nearly two dozen people were originally charged in Trinidad, including a former prime minister, his wife and an ex Cabinet minister accused of receiving kickbacks from a local businessman.

Among those named in the lawsuit that the government won was a former finance minister, Brian Kuei Tung. An attorney for him could not immediately be reached for comment.

In 2005, the U.S. government filed several criminal charges against some of the same defendants, including bank fraud and money laundering. Although some charges were discarded, some defendants were convicted and sentenced to six-year prison terms. Others, including two Trinidadian businessmen, have appealed, and their cases are still pending in the U.S. justice system.

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Ambassador of Mexico to the OECS presents Credentials to the OECS Director General

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The Ambassador of the United Mexican States to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Luis Manuel L?pez Moreno presented his Letters of Credence to OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules at a ceremony held on Monday March 27.

Ambassador Moreno expressed great honour in being able to represent his country in the OECS region for a second time, having previously served as Mexico’s Ambassador to the OECS. In presenting his Letters to the Director General, the Ambassador conveyed the kind compliments of President Andr?s Manuel L?pez Obrador, who he indicated is keenly aware of the work and progress of the OECS, particularly in respect of efforts towards regional integration.

In accepting the Letters of Credence, Dr. Jules extended a warm welcome to Ambassador Moreno. He conveyed his appreciation of the constructive role that Mexico has played and continues to play in the development process of the OECS region. According to Dr. Jules,

“The member countries of the OECS have had excellent diplomatic relations with Mexico and have benefitted from invaluable development assistance and cooperation with Mexico in numerous areas including education, diplomatic training, agriculture, environmental issues, and support in the development of appropriate infrastructure and facilities.”

In further acknowledgement of Mexico’s contribution to the development of the OECS region, the Director General noted that the OECS-Mexico close friendship is of tremendous importance to the Commission and individual Member States that duly recognize Mexico as a valuable friend and cooperation partner.

In response, Ambassador Moreno informed that “One of the strategic elements of the Government of Mexico is to promote mutual cooperation for the development of the Caribbean countries; to consolidate Mexico’s presence in the region; and to actively participate in addressing the challenges of the regional agenda.”

He continued, “Mexico shares with the Organisation and its Member States, the values of integration, democracy and solidarity and wishes to remain a reliable partner for the development of the OECS and its Members States”

During a courtesy meeting that immediately followed the Ceremony, the Director General and the Ambassador exchanged views on a number of possible new areas for development cooperation initiatives between the OECS and Mexico, and agreed to commence in-depth discussions on those in the immediate future.

In closing, the Dr. Jules again welcomed the Ambassador to the OECS and pledged the full support of the Commission to further advance the friendship and strategic partnership between Mexico and the OECS.

Formal diplomatic relations between the OECS and the United Mexican States were established in 2009.

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Minister Marion Hall To Release Song About Her ‘Blessed Body’

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: DanceHallMag


In the midst of the chatter surrounding how gospel artist Minister Marion Hall clothes her canvas, she has announced an upcoming single which places focus on the body.  

“Listen out for my new song titled Bless Body,” she revealed in a Facebook post. “It’s a song bringing awareness to the fact that God created our bodies, so perfectly, but we choose to put on and take off what we feel like, which sometimes causes us our lives.”

She added, “Love it or hate it. This is a Blessed Body.”

The announcement was accompanied by cover art from her latest single I’m Doing Better, which has ruffled feathers about what constitutes Christian dress. The photos show the church owner wearing a black sequined jumpsuit with mesh detail that reveals her stomach.

Cover art from Minister Hall’s new track ‘I’m Doing Better’.

While there were more comments showering the minister with compliments about her image, others were more critical, even calling the post contradictory.

“The fact that you speak about loving our body, don’t add on or take off but still you yourself adding/removing, or is that you don’t consider makeup and weaves as add ons?” the comment read. “What did yall so called good book say about adding and removing from the body which is the ‘TEMPLE OF GOD’? As long as you didn’t born with it then it is an add on…”

There are also folks who believe the post is throwing shade towards dancehall artist Spice who has been open about going under the knife, though she declared that her recent health scare had nothing to do with plastic surgery. The women were once friends whose friendship grew sour following back-and-forth claims of envy, obeah, and underhand dealings. 

Spice (left) and at the time, Lady Saw

“Is me alone realize say anytime Spice take a break, you no see Lady Saw, but as long as Spice reappears, this lady emerges?” one person posited. “It’s giving badmind and she need fi stop it.”

Another person wrote, “Deep down this woman miss dancehall. And if Spice answer har now yuh hear seh Spice this n that. I don’t understand how Lady Saw turn Christian n still Ina dancehall ppl bizinz.”

Hall had previously responded to the Christian fashion police by redirecting them to 1 Corinthians 9 verse 19 to 23 which speaks to adapting per the environment to win souls for Christ.

When she hung up her secular shoes in December 2015, her ensemble remained consistently conservative until 2021 when she appeared more settled in her relationship with God. This was highlighted in a video she shared on social media responding to critics who found fault with a photo that bore cleavage.

“I can’t be covered every day, I’m in Miami, it’s hot in Miami,” she said.

“You won’t see me on the road in the big hats that you see me preaching in and the long dresses. If I dress like that you say I look old. I wear shorts and I wear skirts – not way up, but I wear skirts. I got tattoos, yeah, I got a few ah them, so, what can I do? I can’t please you baby…”

She continued, “God cares for what is behind the heart…not my boobs. If that’s all you see, I guess they look good right? I’m still a Christian and I do talk, so, don’t get this twisted. I’m still Marion, not Lady Saw. I’m a ordained minister and on Sunday I’ll dress appropriately but when I’m out in the sun, Imma take the sun’s vitamin D.”

She rounded off by expressing appreciation for her body, even labeling herself a “sexy Christian”.

“If you know me by now, you would know that I don’t care what they say about me. You don’t have the keys to heaven, so you can’t stop me if I’m going or not… I’m so blessed and I love my body… I’m a sexy Christian; I like to dress sexy under my clothes… Love me or hate me, I don’t care.”

Hall will be taking her blessed body to the Reggae Sumfest stage in July, her first appearance on the festival since joining Christendom. 

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Tommy Lee Sparta Ready For Reggae Sumfest Days After Release From Prison

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: DanceHallMag


Tommy Lee Sparta is delighting in his recent booking for Reggae Sumfest 2023, days after his release from prison.

The Spartan Soldier took to his Instagram page on Tuesday, where he shared the Sumfest poster of himself, and told his fans to look out for him on Concert Night One (Dancehall Night) at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre, in his hometown Montego Bay, in July.

“Sumfest! Get ready for me fi take over the stage July 21st!” he captioned the post, which evoked cheers from Beenie Man, Macka Diamond, IOctane, Mr. Lexx, and producer Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor.

Reggae Sumfest Marketing Strategist Skatta Burrell also shared the post of Tommy Lee and, while encouraging Dancehall fans to “tag yuh friend dem weh yah bring to the music festival, declared: “Sumfest! Get ready for the Spartan Soldier fi take over the stage July 21st!”

Tommy Lee will perform on a line-up that includes Valiant and Chronic Law, who have also been confirmed to perform on Concert Night One. 

Their compatriots Minister Marion Hall, Richie Spice, Freddie McGregor and the Big Ship Crew, Kabaka Pyramid, and Morgan Heritage are set to perform on Saturday, July 22.

Tommy Lee was released from the Horizon Remand Centre last week Thursday, after serving three years for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.  

He has had a longstanding relationship with Reggae Sumfest, where he made his debut performance as a professional artist at Reggae Sumfest in 2012.

However, on July 16, 2015, the police had barred Tommy Lee from performing at the festival. 

News reports at the time were that police investigators had decided to bar the Gaza artist, while they probed an upsurge in violence in the community of Flanker in St. James a day prior.

Sometime after, the Constabulary issued a notification that they wanted to question the artist regarding criminal activities that were taking place in St. James.

At the time, however, his manager, Heavy D, had claimed that he thought the reason for the sudden questioning was because Tommy Lee publicly stated that he planned to sue for loss of earnings.

Sparta, whose given name is Leroy Russell, had at the time, taken to social media to rebuke the Police.

“The Police High command has refused me permission on stage,” he had told his fans, and then went on to point out that the actions of the constabulary was in breach of the Charter of Rights and the Constitution of Jamaica.

“How can the Police prevent a citizen from engaging in legitimate employment ?” he had said, declaring that his attorney would be filing an action in the Supreme Court for compensation.

In 2016, he made a cameo appearance after being called on stage by Beenie Man.

In 2017, Tommy Lee, returned to the Reggae Sumfest stage where he delivered a brief, but commendable performance as the closing artist, belting out songs such as Holding Out The Pressure, Spartan Soldier, Stacking Up The Paper and Buss a Blank.

Following the performance, which lasted for just 15 minutes, Tommy Lee had said that his set had ended abruptly, as he had been told that the show had been running over time and so he had to adjust.

“You have Westmoreland people, people from Trelawny, people from Kingston and everywhere in Jamaica who come out fi da show yah and come out fi me… A one likkle festival a year time and so the whole a Jamaica deh deh. Me feel good bout me performance although it did short. Me come fi perform but dem say do show a run long and me just deal wid it quick and fast,” he told The Star at the time.

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UN general assembly backs landmark request for an ICJ opinion on climate change

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service
Reacting to a UN General Assembly decision requesting that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) provide an authoritative opinion on states’ obligations and responsibilities surrounding climate change, Ambassador Nerys Dockery, St. Kitts and Nevis’ UN Permanent Representative to the United Nations said:

“Today marks another historic moment in the fight for climate justice. Just about three weeks ago, we saw the agreement on the landmark legally-binding international Treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in the high seas. The adoption of the Resolution today is a major achievement that will allow the ICJ to provide clarity on how existing international law, especially human rights and environmental legislation, can be applied to strengthen action on climate change.

“The moment was made even greater by the consensual adoption by a united General Assembly that chose to stand up for the millions around the world, especially those who live in small island developing states, for whom climate change poses an existential threat.

“I salute Vanuatu, in particular, for its intrepid and tenacious advocacy to garner support for the resolution and the youth activists in the Pacific Islands who initiated this urgent call in the fight for redistributive justice and the protection of the human rights of future generations.

“The ICJ can now choose to provide a robust advisory opinion that will offer much-needed clarity on state obligations and spur action that will help mitigate the causes and consequences of the damage done to the climate and ultimately protect people and the environment globally.

“I am very proud that St. Kitts and Nevis can be counted among the 130 countries that endorsed and co-sponsored the resolution. It is my hope that the advisory opinion will add impetus and commitment to addressing the impacts of global warming.”

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Best Practices Training for Better Farming in Barbados

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been an important partner in Barbados’ drive to achieve its agricultural and marine development priorities, including natural resource management and climate change adaptation.

This partnership has continued under the ‘Addressing the Water-Energy-Food Nexus’ (WEF) sub-project of the “Mexico – CARICOM – FAO Initiative Cooperation for Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change in the Caribbean.”

The initiative targets actions that contribute to reducing the impacts of global shocks such as climate change and COVID-19 on household livelihoods, food and water availability, including practices in technologies for improved water productivity. Critical to achieving this is the implementation of best practices training within the agriculture sector to ensure environmental management.

Sixteen farmers under the WEF subproject are receiving training in ‘Farming Best Practices’ to learn efficient irrigation techniques, water resource management, and conservation agriculture methods. The distribution of rainwater harvesting/storage facilities and assistance with solar powered irrigation systems for sustainable open field production and soil conditioning are key components of the training to further support the technical knowledge. The training is being facilitated by FAO National Project Coordinator (NPC) for the WEF sub-projectKris Grogan and Agricultural Best Practices Specialist Mr Colin Maynard.

FAO Representative Barbados Mr Juan CheazPelaez, noted that “This sub-project seeks to address the Water-Energy-Food nexus. We know that, among others, climate change will exacerbate water scarcity. Inadequate access to water for agricultural production, along with the high dependence on imported fossil fuels combine to worsen the vulnerability of producers in Barbados.”

The Barbados Climate Change and Agricultural Policy Framework encourages adaptation and mitigation measures for the agricultural sector to build resilience against the impact of climate change. The FAO ‘Farming Best Practices’ training is another program which will facilitate agricultural development as the participants identify problems, test solutions, and adopt appropriate practices.

FAO NPC Kris Grogan stated “We are happy with the attendance at today’s training as we aim to boost resilience and facilitate adaptation to climate change in Barbados. These opportunities under this project will help farmers further develop best practices and skills by providing learning experiences and promoting exchange of information.

This farmer-to-farmer knowledge exchange adds to the value of the training as the sessions allow for discussion in a collaborative manner where farmers’ can learn from each other’s abilities and experience. The training also seeks to empower farmers in innovation with the use of on-farm renewable energy systems, solar powered irrigation systems and water storage facilities provided.

Workshop participant Tanisha Hunte spoke to the value of the training indicating that, “Sometimes on-farm rainwater harvesting seems farfetched but today made it seem more feasible.

The “Mexico – CARICOM – FAO Initiative Cooperation for Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change in the Caribbean” or ‘Resilient Caribbean Initiative’ aims at improving the resilience and adaptation to climate change of agriculture, food systems and rural communities in vulnerable populations in Caribbean countries. The initiative will advance water resource management to increase agricultural productivity. The project will also address the challenge of the low productivity of small-scale farming by providing technological innovation to agricultural producers.

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Nevis extends deadline for bids on drilling phase of geothermal energy project

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The Nevis Island Administration (NIA) has once again extended the deadline for bids on the drilling phase of Nevis’ geothermal energy project.

“The geothermal project has been proceeding apace. We had indicated that the bidding process on the production well drilling phase had been extended to March 09, 2023; that has since been further extended to April 09, and so we are waiting for those bids.

“As indicated before, the response has been overwhelming and the CDB [Caribbean Development Bank] has indicated that consistent with the guidelines for bids, those people showing an interest, some of them had questions and needed clarification and therefore they extended the timeframe to allow them an opportunity to provide that clarification,” Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Energy in the NIA informed at his March 28 press conference.

The Premier explained that while some 30 companies have already indicated their interest in bidding for the project, the government is obligated to provide clarification and information for those entities requesting such.

“My last report from NEVLEC [Nevis Electricity Company], the entity that is guiding this process on Nevis, was that they had responded to over 100 enquiries for information.”

Once the bidding process is closed, all bids would be evaluated and then the necessary approvals obtained with respect to awarding a contract. That evaluation period is expected to last six months and drilling is anticipated to commence within a period of six months from the signing of the contract.

The drilling phase of the geothermal project is being funded by the CDB, which approved US $17 million for the drilling of three production wells and two injection wells at the site in Hamilton, Nevis.

Premier Brantley said his administration is eager to move forward with this particular development, as it will be transformative for the island of Nevis.

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The Caribbean Gets Better Prepared: CDEMA Leads Regional Training for 7 Countries

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

Seven CDEMA Participating States are set to benefit from a five-day Regional Training Workshop in Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) Methodology being held in Barbados from March 27 – 31.

This workshop will build resilience among the Participating States as it will maximize and accelerate effective response and recovery. This initiative is being executed by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, the European Union through the PARTICIP Project, and by the Enabling Gender-Responsive Disaster Recovery, Climate and Environmental Resilience in the Caribbean (EnGenDER) Project, which is funded by Global Affairs Canada and Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office from the Government of the United Kingdom. The initiative aims to develop professionals with the capacity to support the assessment of damage and loss and sectoral recovery needs in the wake of a disaster.

Climate change has increased the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, making vulnerable groups such as low-income communities and coastal populations more susceptible to their impacts; for instance, in the Caribbean and thus the Participating States, rising sea levels and stronger hurricanes threaten the livelihoods and safety of island nations that heavily rely on tourism and fishing industries.

Since 2020, the EnGenDER project has been implementing initiatives in nine Caribbean countries to integrate gender equality and human-rights based approaches to strengthen disaster risk management and build resilience for the effects of climate change.

The PDNA methodology training will be provided to senior economic planning and sectoral representatives from the seven CDEMA Participating States Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The UNDP support includes technical support from the Panama Regional Hub (PARH) and sponsorship of some of the Trainer Experts from UNDP Global through PARH.

The purpose of this training workshop is to provide technical support to 40 professionals who are responsible for planning and executing needs assessments and designing their own recovery frameworks within their country. The ultimate goal is to ensure a consistent and coherent approach while delivering an objective and comprehensive estimation of recovery needs. Furthermore, the workshop aims to facilitate swift decision-making and action.

The workshop will enable participants to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to support their respective Participating States in post-disaster recovery efforts. This event underscores the importance of regional cooperation and partnership in disaster risk reduction and management. It is a step towards building a more resilient Caribbean region.

Head of Cooperation for the Eastern Caribbean at the High Commission of Canada, Abebech Assefa shared, “Canada is committed to reducing the impacts of natural disasters and providing timely and effective assistance for those who have been affected as they recover and rebuild. Canada stands at the forefront of promoting and supporting gender equality and I am happy that gender will be a cross cutting theme of the training. The reality is that men, women, boys, girls and all other groupings are impacted by events differently and if we don’t acknowledge that when we undertake our needs assessments, we risk exacerbating pre-existing inequalities or creating new ones.”

Richard Carter, Team Leader of Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office addressed the audience in the Opening Ceremony and noted, “In the current context of increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters in the region; the absolute necessity for evidence-driven prioritisation of limited financial resources post-disaster; and the expected requirement of internationally standardised disaster impact assessments as the basis for claims against loss and damage funding, this PDNA training is far from an esoteric or academic exercise – it is a functional necessity for the Caribbean region.”

Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig, Deputy Executive Director of CDEMA stated, “This workshop forms a key part of CDEMA’s thrust to enhance recovery capacities in the region, and it contributes to the mandate of the Caribbean Resilient Recovery Facility (CRRF), which is being established, in collaboration with other regional and international partners, to effectively operationalize and manage recovery in the Region. CDEMA is striving for resilient recovery that is nationally driven by strengthening Governments’ recovery systems before a disaster strikes. Given the uncertainty around future climate impacts and other emerging hazards, CDEMA is seeking to strengthen the capacities of national governments to plan for and effectively manage recovery from disasters. By hosting this workshop on the methodology for post-disaster needs assessment and by operationalizing the Caribbean Resilient Recovery Facility, CDEMA is working on many different fronts to advance recovery and Comprehensive Disaster Management in the region.”

Ugo Blanco, Deputy Resident Representative for UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean stated, “This training is timely as the Caribbean is well known to be among the most hazard prone regions in the world and is particularly exposed to geological and hydrometeorological hazards.” As he provided Caribbean examples of the hazards, he stated, “all [disaster examples] underscore the need for recovery planning, institutionalizing recovery in government and the building of recovery capacity to reduce the loss of life, property, environmental assets and livelihoods in Caribbean SIDS.”

As climate change effects become more prevalent in the region, it is vital that developmental efforts continue to reinforce the need for regional resilience and bolstering livelihoods for traditionally vulnerable groups. UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, in partnership with governments and stakeholders, remains dedicated to the advancement of inclusive and sustainable development throughout the region. This intervention is part of the work of UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean in its commitment to building resilient communities that can withstand shocks and crises while reducing gender vulnerabilities.

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