Bridgetown, Barbados November 29, 2021– CDEMA, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and French Red Cross Regional Intervention Platform for the Americas and the Caribbean (PIRAC), hosted The Caribbean International Disaster Response Law (IDRL) Workshop 2021 from November 17-19, 2021. The Workshop examined ways in which International Disaster Response Laws (IDRL) can be incorporated to improve regulatory standards and logistical frameworks within the National Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Legislation and the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM), in light of the current hazard landscape, lessons learnt from recent disasters and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Executive Director of CDEMA Ms. Elizabeth Riley underscored the importance of humanitarian assistance following recent climate trends and the onset of COVID-19. “CDEMA’s experiences with these events demonstrates that there are gaps in our systems for handling international and regional humanitarian assistance. All of us have a role to play in strengthening these systems. Policy, legislation, plans and protocols are essential,” she explained.
CDEMA’s Model CDM Legislation of 2013 integrated International and Humanitarian Assistance practices, guided by the IFRC’s “Guidelines for the domestic facilitation and regulation of international disaster relief and initial recovery assistance” also known as the “IDRL Guidelines”. As natural hazards continue to become more complex in the Caribbean, the workshop advanced discussions on best practices in the region, with consideration to CDM and IDRL.
Mr. Ariel Kestens, Head of Delegation for the Dutch and English-speaking Caribbean, IFRC, highlighted how recent disasters have exposed certain weaknesses in laws, policies and procedures in managing the record numbers of humanitarian relief groups, resulting in countless administrative and financial burdens for governments. He urged States to seriously consider how IDRL principles could enhance their domestic and regional capacities in international humanitarian assistance.
Next steps in strengthening existing frameworks included further partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), to establish a Regional IDRL Workshop Group that can contribute to advancing IDRL in the region through leveraging the ongoing process that targets strengthening CDM policy and the continued roll-out of the CDEMA Logistics and Relief Management Programme in the Participating States.
The Caribbean IDRL Workshop was funded by the INTERREG “Ready Together” Project led by the French Red Cross, through its Regional Intervention Platform for the Americas and the Caribbean (PIRAC) co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Regional Council of Guadeloupe. In partnership with the IFRC, CDEMA and the OECS, the “Ready Together” Project seeks to enhance disaster resilience in the Caribbean, identifying the need to strengthen disaster legal and institutional frameworks as one of its four key pillars along with enhancing economic actors’ preparedness and promoting risk prevention among the Caribbean population.
IFRC Head of Delegation for the Dutch and English-speaking Caribbean, Mr. Ariel Kestens, encouraged the use of IDRL principles in enhancing domestic and regional capacities in international humanitarian assistance.
CDEMA Executive Director, Ms. Elizabeth Riley underscored the importance of humanitarian assistance given the recent climate trends and the onset of COVID-19
For further information, please contact:
Communication and Public Relations Specialist
CARIBBEAN DISASTER EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (CDEMA)
Resilience Way, Lower Estate
Tel #: (246) 434-4880
Fax #: (246) 271-3660