SINT MAARTEN/BARBADOS - While attending the Understanding Risk (UR) Caribbean Conference in Barbados, Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin and members of the Sint Maarten delegation, held a meeting to explore the possibilities of joining the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).
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 the 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).
CDEMA presently comprises of 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. (www.cdema.org)
Membership in CDEMA for Sint Maarten can benefit the country in many ways as the organization has as its mandate the following. 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:
- mobilizing and coordinating disaster relief;
- mitigating or eliminating, as far as practicable, the immediate consequences of disasters in Participating States;
- providing immediate and coordinated response by means of emergency disaster relief to any affected Participating State;
- securing, coordinating and providing to interested inter-governmental and non- governmental organizations reliable and comprehensive information on disasters affecting any Participating State;
- 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 coordinating the establishment, enhancement and maintenance of adequate emergency disaster response capabilities among the Participating States.
Prime Minister Romeo Marlin considers membership to CDEMA as a great option for Sint Maarten as the country continues to build on its network of regional partnerships. “As Sint Maarten forges ahead with its plans to become a SMART Resilient nation, working together with our regional partners in a structural and strategic manner in mutually beneficial areas can only bring forth positive results,” expressed Prime Minister Romeo Marlin.